Item: Full Circle Fresh Air Odor-Free Kitchen Compost Collector
Overall Impression: This is a great compost collector for those looking for an alternative to flimsy compost collectors or sealed compost containers that require filters.
I've been composting for years and have only used the free city-issued countertop compost collectors that are made of thin plastic. They aren't the most handsome compost bins and there are things about them that annoy me, so I jumped at the chance to see how the Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector stacked up against my boring standard-issue one.
Fresh Air Compost Collector: A Quick Summary
Characteristics and specs: 1.3 gallon capacity and made of partially recycled BPA-free plastic and partially recycled stainless steel. Dishwasher safe and comes with 5 compost bags. Available in 2 colors.
Favorite details: The wire frame holds the compost bag securely in place. The lid opens with a push of a button. It's very stable and doesn't tip over when the collector is empty but the lid is up. The smooth walls of the container mean that a full bag of compost can't snag or tear as it's being removed.
Potential problems: It didn't seem to reduce odors any more than my city-issued free compost container.
Who would love this? Those wanting a more stylish countertop compost collector that functions very well.
My Review of Fresh Air Compost Collector
My Old Compost Bin
I'm very lucky that even though the city where I live (San Francisco) mandates that we compost, they actually come and collect it too. It's made composting very easy and there isn't much of a reason not to do it. In fact, they even give every household a free compost collector to get you started (pictured above on the right).
While the free compost bin has generally done its job, there are a few things about it that annoyed me: it's very lightweight so tends to tip over if it's empty and you open the lid, I don't really like the design because you can see through the sides and the slightly translucent bag, and the carved-out sides can sometimes snag and tear a full compost bag as I'm removing it. Plus, there isn't much that holds the compost in bag in place, so it can slip into the collector easily.
How Fresh Air Stacked Up
I gave the Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector a try for a few weeks, and it seems to address all of these problems easily. First of all, the solid sides mean I don't have to look at an unsightly, bulging bag of compost when it's full, plus the bag never snags or tears as I remove it. To open the bin, there's a button in the front, and the base is solid enough that even when the lid is open and the collector is empty, it's sturdy and doesn't tip over.
Loading a new bag is also easy: Flip the wire frame up, place your bag in, then flip the frame back down to keep the bag in place. The bag never slipped or budged with the frame in place.
The fresh air component in this collector comes from the design: oxygen enters through a wind-flume system at the top, which is supposed to help prevent liquid buildup so the compost remains drier and breaks down with less mess and odor. This system doesn't require filters, unlike sealed compost containers. To be honest, in the weeks I've used this new system, I didn't notice any real difference in odors when compared to my old bin, probably because the general design is very similar. I can see it being a big change from sealed compost containers that require filters though.
The compost collector is also easy to disassemble and dishwasher safe, something I really appreciate since I could do neither with my old collector.
I Love It and I'm Keeping It
I think the price point ($29.99 MSRP) is very fair considering this is very sturdily made, it's easy to load and remove bags, and it looks quite nice on my countertop. And while you can't argue with the price tag of a free city-issued compost collector, I'd gladly spend the money for this one since it's something I use multiple times a day, it works well, and I'm happy to look at it.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.