Best Compost Bins That Actually Look Great on Your Countertop

There’s no reason your scraps have to look like, well, garbage.

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August 05, 2019
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Organic waste for compost

Organic waste for compost

Organic waste for compost with vegetables, fruits and varied food.

Photo by: Antonio Gravante ©Antonio Gravante /

Antonio Gravante, Antonio Gravante /

Fact or myth: Collecting food waste for composting means keeping a big, ugly, stinky bin on your kitchen countertop?

Myth! In fact, making your kitchen more eco-friendly (without sacrificing style) is easier than you think. All you need is a little bit of know-how and the right countertop bin to keep food scraps out of your trash can — and landfills.

Here are the basics.

What to Compost

Keep odors (and pests) away! As a general rule, include fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags, nut shells and non-greasy food scraps like rice or bread in your bin. Steer clear of meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products.

How to Use Your Scraps

If you have your own system for recycling organic waste, the food scraps you collect in your countertop bin can be added to your outdoor pile or tumbler. You'll be able to use that compost in your garden later on. It gives plants all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. If you're not into DIY, check with local farms or your nearest greenmarket — many accept food scraps for their own compost programs — which means you can simply drop yours off when you’re out running errands.

Choosing the Best Bin

That's up to you. For a bin of this size and capacity, the best option will be the one that fits your style and budget. Here are a few that are guaranteed to do the job — and look great while they're at it!

BUY IT: Amazon, $19.99

For the composting newbie, this budget buy from OXO is a great deal. With a 12-cup capacity it's large enough to hold all your scraps for a day or two before you'll need to empty it.

BUY IT: Amazon, $21.25

If your kitchen décor could use a bright pop of color, then this is the compost bin for you. Its’ functional design allows it to be wall-mounted (who doesn’t love saving space on the countertop?) or stacked (so double up), which makes it a great option for just about any kitchen.

BUY IT: Amazon, $22.95 (reg.$44.95)

This bin has a 5-star rating and more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon. Fans love it for the natural charcoal filter which protects your kitchen from the odors that many composters tend to produce.

BUY IT: Amazon, $32.27

With its tight-fitting lid and (included) carbon filter, this bin is sure to keep unwelcome odors out of your kitchen. Plus, it comes in three colors, making it the perfect addition to any rustic, or farmhouse-style kitchen.

BUY IT: Amazon, $38.99

Responsibly made from sustainable bamboo and recycled plastic, this sleek little countertop bin is durable, moisture resistant and tolerant of high heat (which means it’s dishwasher-safe).

BUY IT: UncommonGoods, $199

This is a definite upgrade from your average countertop bin but this system does it all. Not only will it hold the scraps produced by the average 2- to 3-person household, it will turn them into usable compost every week — all while looking like a piece straight out of the modern art museum!

* This story was originally published April 10, 2019 and has been updated with new products chosen by our editors. *

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