Where Should You Put A Compost Bin? (Explained)

The most common problem faced by new composting bin owners is bin placement. It can be difficult to determine the best spot. Let’s explore this in detail so you can decide which place is best for your bin.

So How far should a compost bin be from the house? It would be best if you placed your compost bin at least 10 feet away from your home. This distance ensures your home is protected from bad smells and pests.

We all have different housing plans. Just knowing the distance for bin placement may not be enough. You generally require some more information for good bin placement. 

The best location for a compost bin

Composting bin location is more important than most people realize. Location can be the difference between good compost and a smelly disaster! As we proceed to place our bins, we are riddled with questions. To make it simple, we have compiled answers to common queries about bin location. 

1. How far is too far?

  We are often tempted to place the compost bin as far as possible. Even though this might work for some people, but for most, this would create problems. It becomes a huge chore to go out when it’s raining or snowing and put your scraps in your bin. And before you know it, you are putting your waste into a garbage bin instead of a composting bin.

It has been observed that people are more likely to give up on composting if the bin is located at a considerable distance from home.

That doesn’t mean that you should keep it right next to the kitchen. Ideally, a composting bin should not smell bad and attract any pests. But, to maintain a bin at the ideal level, you need to optimize moisture levels, carbon-nitrogen ratios, particle size, pH, etc. This won’t be feasible for most people, and once in a while, most of us will experience bad smells or some pest entering the bin. However, this should not be an issue if your bin is slightly away from your home.

A distance of 10 to 20 feet works the best for most people as it is sufficiently distant to keep bad odor at bay, yet so near that you can visit it every day.

2. Hidden or visible?

Another important thing that people struggle with is whether to keep their bins hidden or in plain sight.

Honestly, that depends on your preference. I personally prefer that my bin remains visible.

You should be proud of yourself for composting your waste. It’s a great service to our planet and overloaded landfills. When people visit your home, they should be inspired to install their own bins.

Every person you motivate contributes to well being of our planet.

If someone asks me about my composting bin, I am happy to explain to them the process, benefits, and how easy it is

3. Sun Or Shade?

The best place for a composting bin is a partially shaded area. If you place it in direct sunlight, it will dry up quickly that can kill the microbes and worms.

If it is in a shaded area, it will take longer to heat up and reach the desired temperatures.

If you opt for an indoor composting setup, you need to place the bin in a place that is neither too dark nor too bright. 

We have an article on this topic where we explored this in great detail. Click here

4. Cement or Dirt?

  It is not a good idea to place your composting bin on cement or any plastered floor. Even though many people make it work, but it requires a lot of effort and care.

If a bin is located on dirt or earth, all accidental spills are converted into fertilizers. 

A bottomless bin would also be a great idea. Placing it on the earth allows beneficial organisms like earthworms to crawl into it and speed up the composting. 

5. Shelter or Open?

  A partially sheltered space is better for composting as it protects the bin from excess rainwater. However, this might not be possible for many people. In that case, you can cover the top of your bin with a lid or a tarp.

It would be best if you can get a bin with a tap on the bottom. Even if rainwater seeps in or your pile becomes too wet, you can easily drain out excess water and use it in your garden.

But avoid putting it under a tree. As the composting bin is nutrient-rich, the roots of trees can grow around it. Though, bigger trees are not affected by it.

6. Near or away from the garden?

  In almost all cases, you want your composting bin as close to your garden as possible. This has many advantages.

Vicinity to your garden makes it easy to feed fallen leaves and other garden waste to your bin.

Also, finished compost is fairly heavy, and if you placed your bin far away from where you intend to use your compost, it would be a chore!

7. Near or away from the boundary?

  An important thing that most composters should know is that your composting should not affect your neighbors in any way. Even though most people support the process of composting as a whole, but they may not enjoy its sight or smell, especially if it is coming from a neighbors house.

Placing a bin near the boundary of your house puts it too close to your neighbors, which is not appreciated.

If you don’t have any other option, its best to consult with your neighbors before placing your bin

8. How much space does it require?

 Composting bins come in many sizes ranging from smaller ones that can hold 5 pounds to larger ones that can process 100 pounds.

In addition to the space needed for the bin, you also need room to work. You require adding waste to the bin, turning it regularly, and collecting the compost once it is finished. It could get cumbersome if there is no space around the bin.

You might also decide to add more bins in the future. Many people include separate bins for different kinds of waste, which are in various stages of composting. 

However, if you are using compost tumblers, you won’t require that much space.

9. Near Or Away From Water?

  Your compost needs to stay wet to function properly. The desired consistency of compost is similar to a damp sponge. 

It can lose moisture during seasonal changes and windy conditions, and you have to add more water to it. It would be best if you had a tap or a hose nearby. 

Though you should avoid placing a bin near a river or a well, there might be some nitrogen runoff from your bin, contaminating the water source.

10. Close or Away from the wind?

    As we mentioned above, if you place your bin in a windy place, it will dry up faster. It would be best if you shielded your bin from excess wind using natural or artificial barriers. 

Final Thoughts

Placing a composting bin not that hard. You have to keep some basic things in mind. Avoid it from extreme temperature, rainfall, wind, heat, and sunlight. Also, your composting should not be problematic to your neighbors. 

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