Compost Pile vs Bin: Which One Best For You?

Compost Pile vs Bin

Sometimes, choosing either a compost pile or a bin depends on how much space you possess on your property. However, both options are great methods of making nutritious and viable compost though they both come with advantages and disadvantages.

Compost Piles and Compost Bins

Compost piles are regarded as a traditional way of adding carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich elements in a heap which transform into compost with adequate time, moisture, and heat.

Compost piles can be messy and smelly. As for the compost bin, it keeps your kitchen scraps, grass clippings, paper, e.t.c away from one’s sight. Apart from that, a compost bin gives greater control over compost’s development, moisture, and heat most especially an enclosed one.

Both compost pile and bin help to develop your compost for your garden or yard. Compost pile works best when you have a large property with a lot of patience.

Using a Compost Bin

Compost does not only add nutrient-rich elements to the soil, it also reduces reliance on synthetic fertilizers and benefits the plants. Rather than having to turn over compost manually, a compost bin helps you to rotate your carbon and nitrogen materials effortlessly.

Compost bins are convenient to use and also serve as an economical way to create nutrient-rich, dense compost either indoors or outdoors. Due to the fact that compost bins are a closed system, they are good at draining off excess moisture, reducing noxious odours and they can also easily combine green and brown materials.

Compost bins are available in different sizes and materials. The construction material of a compost bin has no impact on the durability as well as the nature of your container. Note that larger compost bins tend to develop compost more quickly than smaller compost bins.

If planning to add worms to improve your compost, a compost bin is very suitable similar to using them in a compost pile. Listed below are the advantages of using a compost bin:

A compost bin keeps away rodents and pests as rodents and pests find it difficult to interfere with the compost. A closed system helps in regulating moisture and heat. Also, it helps in reducing odours. Bins are available in two versions which are; the stationary and the wheeled versions. It takes less time for compost in the compost bin to be ready for use when compared to that of the traditional compost pile.

Compost bins can be built using simple materials such as wood, tree branches, e.t.c. There are certain compost bins that can mix the contents on their own, thus, time and energy can be saved.

If the right conditions needed for the process persists, you get to have access to untarnished fertilizers which can be used at home or sold. Some compost bins get to be closed tighter when compared with other containers thus, making them easy to clean.

Just like how compost bins have advantages, they also have their disadvantages which are listed below:

Disadvantages of Compost

Compost bins come in different sizes. If purchased and too large, it might be difficult to rotate the materials. The amount of compost developed is restricted to the cubic area of space inside the bin. Some compost bins can be maintenance-intensive and also, some may not be weather-proof.

Using a Compost Pile

This is a traditional method and less costly to use. However, it has its own disadvantages too. It doesn’t come with protection like a compost bin and so, pests, the chicken wire may disturb your compost and cause some havoc.

Apart from that, you will need to turn the layers which can be pretty demanding and give an offensive smell most especially when something goes wrong while processing. Even though compost is ideal for the environment and helps in reducing landfill wastes while also, enriching the plants and soil, it still has its own challenges and misconceptions.

Unlike a compost bin which is enclosed and takes lesser time, compost can take up to a year before it is good to go. Due to the fact that a compost pile is in the open space, it is best to have an area measuring 3 feet wide, 3 feet long, with a height of 3 feet to have your compost created. Listed below are some of the advantages of using a traditional compost pile:

Advantages of Compost Pile

It is regarded as a time-honoured way of creating compost and controlling your layers. Individuals having a large space on their property get to utilize it and benefit from it. It has access to the sun and natural elements which furthers its progress. You get to have a touch with nature when using the traditional compost pile.

Turning your compost heaps to mix the waste helps in achieving faster composting. More materials are composted in a compost pile than in a compost bin and also, it results in better and superior products in large quantities.

An addition of a compost activator to the compost pile will help your garden waste turn into rich compost in lesser time.

Just like how compost piles have advantages, the disadvantages cannot be overlooked. Explained below are the disadvantages of compost piles:

A poorly protected pile is vulnerable to rodents as well as other pests. A compost pile can be time-consuming and it requires nothing less than a year for the compost to be ready to be applied to the plants or soil.

You may need to deal with foul odours, moisture control and also, protection against the elements. It is labours intensive as you have to deal with alternate turning of the materials. Brown waste is a necessity for this method and a lack of there brown materials can end the process.


Considering the advantages and disadvantages of each explained above, it can be concluded that compost bins can be a better choice. Not only are they easy to use, but they are also efficient and yield fertile soil components at a faster rate and much better quantities.