By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 8 March 2011)
Bins and tumblers
Regular compost bins can be built or purchased (many municipalities offer inexpensive bins and composting workshops). There are also tumbler systems commercially available. These are more expensive, but they produce good compost rapidly (in as little as 3 weeks) because the drum has a handle that enables daily turning of the compost. This aerates the mix, facilitating swift decomposition.
Trenches or piles
Many people don’t bother with a compost bin. Instead, they maintain a compost pile in a corner of the garden or bury kitchen and garden waste in an 8-inch trench and leave it to rot for several months, after which they plant above it. Trench or pile composting is easy, though it can draw pests to the garden.
Worm bin composting
A vermicomposting system can be kept outdoors or inside because it is completely enclosed. This type of system requires special worms that are suited to living in decomposing organic materials rather than garden soil (such as the redworm, also known as the red wiggler or manure worm). A vermicomposting system requires a layer of carbon-rich material that acts as bedding (shredded cardboard, paper, or dried leaves) to which kitchen wastes can be added. The worms consume and aerate the materials as they move through them and eventually convert them to worm castings, which make excellent compost.