Compost pile vs. bin are effective composting methods that leave gardeners unsure of which to choose. The positive aspect here is that these methods are different in compost preparation, give different results, and have various advantages and disadvantages.
However, you must know how each works to make a sound choice. Check out the differences before deciding on the method most convenient to you.
|Features||Compost bin||Compost pile|
|Method of preparation||Requires a container that holds organic waste that turns into compost||It is an open heap of vegetation and decaying material that becomes compost|
|Smell||It is closed and so does not produce an odor||It is an open pit with decaying matter, and the smell can be pungent|
|Duration||The decomposition process takes a shorter time because it is well-controlled.||Decomposition might take longer because the heap is not closely controlled.|
|Presence of animals||It is closed, so animals cannot enter||The pile is open, inviting rodents, insects and worms.|
- What Is the Difference Between a Compost Pile and a Bin?
- Exploring Compost Piles, How They Work, and the Pros and Cons
- Exploring Compost Bins, How They Work, and Their Pros and Cons
What Is the Difference Between a Compost Pile and a Bin?
The main difference between a compost bin and a pile is that compost bins are homemade or bought containers used to put the organic waste and turn it into compost. But, compost piles are loads of waste put together for a long time to become compost.
Since composting bins are enclosed, and this is why insects and rodents hardly invade them. However, animals can be present if the containers are left open. On the other hand, a composting pile is always open, meaning animals can invade it anytime. While the animals can make the pile messy, they help to fasten the decomposition.
Another notable difference between a compost bin and open-air piles is the smell. When using compost containers, you are less likely to know of any decomposition near the home because it will be safe, and due to this factor, they are enclosed, so the smell does not leave the area.
On the contrary, you can quickly tell there is a compost heap near the home. The heap comprises food scraps, plant remains, and other organic matter left in the open. When rotting and decomposing, these produce a strong odor that can be unbearable to you as well as the house neighboring yours.
Exploring Compost Piles, How They Work, and the Pros and Cons
Composting is a common practice of gathering food waste, vegetable scraps, fruits, and other organic materials in a pile to decompose. Adequate time, heat, and moisture are necessary for the decomposition process alongside organic matter. In addition, it is closed at all times to avoid any rodents to barge in.
While compost heaps can be set up anywhere, you must select the best site where the heap is on a level and has good drainage. It ensures the excess water collects in the drain and provides aeration to the heap. A raised area also makes it easier for worms to access the heap, speeding up the decaying process.
You don’t require special tools to start compost heap, except enough space to throw the kitchen scraps and plant remains. However, this decomposing method has pros and cons, which you must know before choosing, and these are ones worth investing your time in so that you would know the right choice you are making.
– How To Make
The first step to making a good compost pile is selecting the best location; you may think to yourself, where is the best place to put a compost pile? The site should be easily accessible, like in a yard or garden, because you need to add materials, turn and add water to keep it moist. You can also keep your pile farther from your garden if you don’t want to see or smell it.
Next, pick what to put in your pile and for this, you can throw in anything that decomposes, but avoid greasy foods like cheese or meat. You must be aware that these do not decompose properly and invite rodents easily. You can put dirt, green and brown leaves; the kitchen remains, used animal bedding, and paper towels, as this mixture is one that will ensure that you balance carbon and nitrogen material for proper decomposition.
A faster way of decomposing materials is by shredding them, and, there is another secret; when adding your compost, ensure you layer it in good order. The first layer should contain carbon materials like small twigs, sawdust, and corncobs. The second layer can have manures and vegetable waste, and the top layer has soil.
You must maintain the compost by stirring it occasionally and adding water. Use a spade to turn the materials to ensure an even decomposition. The pile should stay hot. Hot compost decomposes faster than cold compost. Also, don’t pour excess water because too much can drown the microbes, causing rotting and strong odors.
– Benefits of a Compost Pile
The first advantage of composting in a pile is that it is cheap, and for this you don’t need bins or special skills to decompose your materials. Choose a suitable place to throw the composting materials, like in the garden, and keep adding the materials now and then to make the heap.
You can start composting a pile with a layer of dried leaves which are easy to find. When adding the other materials, ensure you do so in an excellent order to create a layer. For example, keep the food waste in the center and kitchen scraps and soil at the top for an efficiently finished compost.
A compost heap allows you to compost more than other restricted composting methods like compost tumblers. This is because you can throw in as many organic supplies as you need without worrying about the heap filling up and overflowing.
Since the pile has a reasonable allowance for turning, you are also likely to get better results. The soil where the composting heap sits also becomes fiber-rich, and you can use it in your garden or yard for better yields so that the outcome would be beneficial.
– Disadvantages of Compost Piles
While there is joy in turning the compost heap for good results, it is a lot of work for gardeners or enthusiasts to have a day job. It takes a lot of energy to shove the upper and middle layers of the heap and turn them. You also need time to water the pile and ensure it remains moist for effective decomposition.
If you live in an urban location, and you cannot keep a compost heap because it requires enough space. Besides, since the heap is an open-air compost pile, it is likely to smell, which can disturb neighbors. If you have limited spacing surrounding, you can consider other methods of composting.
You must include all the required products for decomposition, and failure to do so can result in a poorly decomposed pile. For example, ensure your heap has carbon and nitrogen materials. Putting the same ingredients in the pile will make the compost invaluable.
Exploring Compost Bins, How They Work, and Their Pros and Cons
A compost bin is a plastic, stone, wood, or ceramic built enclosed container to house decomposing ingredients. Bins are enclosed, making the area neat and having less odor. Together with this, you must also remember that it would speed up the decomposition process.
If you are new to gardening or want to spend less on decomposing, you can do a compost bin DIY using plastic, stone, or wood to build a bin. You can also use plastic buckets or trash cans as your bin, but ensure they are big enough for easy turning and rotation of the materials.
– How To Use a Compost Bin
A compost bin is an enclosed area for decomposing organic materials. When making compost in a bin, select the organic supplies nicely. You can add all the materials in the tumbler at once or keep adding them occasionally until you get a reasonable amount. However, you must add the materials in a systematic way for effective decomposition.
Create the pile using greens and browns. The greens include fruits, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, tea bags, and manure. The browns are waste products like dried leaves, grass, sawdust, newspapers, and egg cartons.
Avoid adding hard-to-decompose materials like meat, bones, pet droppings, and diseased or poisonous plants. You should also layer the organic matter, starting with the browns and then the greens. Keep the heap moist by watering it, but ensure there are drainage holes in the container to allow the exit of excess water.
– Pros of Using a Compost Bin
Compost bins are enclosed areas for decomposing materials, and providing the right conditions, like water and air, speeds up the decomposition. Since the closed containers are less likely to attract pests and unwanted rodents like rats.
Bins also keep the area tidy, and this is why you won’t worry about flying vegetable leaves outside the heap or falling eggshells. Since the heap remains closed, there also won’t be odors from the decomposing materials, which keeps your good relationship with your neighbors.
Some compost containers can automatically turn the heap, reducing the need to keep checking on it. Turning the pile now and then also ensures proper decomposition hence an excellent finished compost, and with this, you should also consider building a compost bin for beginners at home is easy. You can improvise used containers or create one from wood or stone and purchase affordable compost bins.
– Dangers of Compost Bins
Although you don’t need to keep turning the compost bin, it has disadvantages. First, high-end store-bought containers can be costly, making them unaffordable to most farmers. Also, not all containers have drainage holes. This makes them hold excess water, which kills microbes and worms, making decomposition ineffective.
Also, leaving the bin loosely closed could invite rodents and other unwanted animals that disrupt the decomposing process. And failure to provide the required conditions for composting will lead to ineffective decomposition, wasting your time and effort.
From the discussion, bins vs. compost piles have several differences we can use in differentiating them; hence, a compost bin is a homemade or store-bought container used to decompose organic waste, but a heap can be a pit where organic matter is heaped and decomposed. Both compost preparation methods require moisture and aeration for decomposition to happen evenly.
Choosing a compost container or compost heap for decomposition depends on your needs. You can use a compost bin to keep your home neat and prevent the smell of decomposing contents from spreading. A compost heap or pile would be ideal if you don’t want to spend money buying the bins and want to get a more significant yield of compost.
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