Kitchn Love Letters

The Sleek Composting Upgrade I Wish I’d Bought Years Ago

updated Mar 9, 2023
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Compost bin on windowsill
Credit: Jamie Grill / Getty Images

If you compost — and we highly recommend that you do — you’ll want a good container to store food scraps before they go into the compost pile. For most folks, keeping a small container with a lid on the kitchen counter is easiest. This can be filled as you prep and cook, and emptied periodically into a larger bucket out that’s of the way in the garage or into a plastic freezer bag until you’re ready to make a trip to the compost heap.

I’ve written extensively about composting, but my dirty little secret is that for years, I was collecting food scraps in a random salad bowl I “liberated” from a workplace cafeteria. Yes, I’m fully aware that it was not a very refined system.

Now, I’m lucky enough to be able to compost directly in my yard, so it’s not like carrot peels and old coffee grounds are hanging around for weeks on end. But, still, a bowl of sad, soggy food scraps just sitting on the counter doesn’t exactly say, “Welcome to my kitchen!” 

What Makes The Bamboozle Compost Bin So Great

I’ve been making an effort to spruce up my space in small ways for a while, like getting a Yamazaki dish rack that isn’t an eyesore, so the Bamboozle Kitchen Compost Bin seemed like a good next step. The Bamboozle was featured in Kitchn Essentials and I’d seen it all over the internet with overwhelmingly positive reviews. After more than a year of using the Bamboozle compost bin, I’m so glad I upgraded!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

To no one’s surprise, it looks so much nicer next to my sink than the old bowl, but there’s one major feature I didn’t consider: The Bamboozle’s lid has a disposable charcoal filter, which blocks smells. I used to dump my compost bowl every evening after dinner, but now, I can wait until the Bamboozle is completely full before taking it outside. It’s 9 inches tall, 8 inches long, and 6.25 inches wide, and holds a lot. The only time I ever notice a foul odor is when I open it to dump more stuff in there, but that’s to be expected; it is food scraps, after all. 

Now not only does my kitchen look nicer, but it also doesn’t smell like a dumpster! Which, obviously, makes me happy. If you’re getting the Bamboozle (because of course you are), here are four helpful tips to keep in mind — especially if you’re new to composting.

How to Use the Bamboozle Compost Bin

  • Don’t let your scraps touch the lid. The filter should be changed every two months, but if actual food gets on it because you’ve overfilled the container, you’ll notice that it stops working as efficiently. A pack of six replacement filters costs around $10.
  • Don’t try to actually create compost in the container. Real compost — the dark, soil-like stuff you work into your garden — needs to be worked and tended to over a long period of time. This isn’t meant for that job; it’s a container to hold scraps that are headed for the compost pile where they’ll break down. Consider the Bamboozle the first step in your food waste’s journey to Compost Town.
  • Don’t stress about any food stains. I bought my Bamboozle in the Natural color, a creamy off-white. After a few weeks, I noticed that tea leaves and coffee grounds left stains on the inside. I wash and dry the bin after I empty it each time, but the stains were persistent. Avishai Greenstein, a brand manager at Bamboozle, suggests the custom-fit liners “for those who really want to keep the inside of the composter pristine.” As for me? Meh. It’s the inside of a compost bucket; I will not die on this hill. If you want to avoid the situation entirely, you can get the same bucket in dark gray, which Kitchn’s editor-in-chief Faith Durand has.
  • Be gentle! The Bamboozle is made of biodegradable bamboo, which means its lightweight to carry to and from your compost pile. The walls are thick enough to withstand any moderate damage, but I still wouldn’t bang the bucket against the side of the sink to dislodge sticky food scraps. Although mine is still in perfect condition, I imagine that rough handling could do some damage.

I’ll definitely be using my Bamboozle bin for years to come. If I ever get sick of the natural color, I can compost the bin itself and pick up another color, like Saffron or Terracotta. But, for now? I’m just so happy to be rid of that old bowl.

Do you have a compost bin you love? Let us know in the comments!