Earth Machine Composter
With over 2 million of these sold, it's a proven design. This 10 gallon design has an adjustable vent so that you can set it for the right amount of air flow to keep the compost going, but not so much that it will dry out. However, 10 gallons is a good size for a small urban garden, but will fall behind if you have a fairly large garden.
The Earth Machine is hard to find in stock these days. The last place we’ve seen it at Earth Machine at Hayneedle, but it’s not always there.
Because the small size you may want to have more than one Earth Machine, so that you can stagger the batches of compost, with one finishing off while another is getting started. This keeps you from needing to turn and manage a large compost pile or bin. But you can always decide to to that later.
Twist top lid allows you to control ventilation Ventilation slots are large enough to let in oxygen but keep out rodents Fastens to the ground by twist pegs - for animal and wind control. Note that there is a base available so your compost is not resting on the ground, but its not carried by many retailers. Some folks use this to their advantage by putting the composter directly on the garden and encouraging worms to work the pile, so it works as a vermicomposter.
The round design allows unit to be turned/lifted to access pile from any direction. This means that there are no corners for where materials may dry out No special tools required or holes to dig for setup - easy snap together assembly. Note that it is a plastic assembly, so it is not super strong, and can be broken if you stress it to extreme, and some accuse it of being flimsy. In fact, this is probably the most common complaint about this composter.
The sliding bottom door can be secured to prevent animal entry. Actually, this door can be difficult for some to use, it doesn't always go back in place if you do manage to get it out. But the reality is that for a smaller composter like this you don't really have enough mass to get a real continuous flow of compost out, but are more likely to just do a full batch at a time. Be careful with the mix of materials to keep the pile working, and you can have success.
The black color of the Earth Machine helps absorb solar heat and keep your compost pile warm.
How to Get One
Proven 10 year track record - close to 2 million in use worldwide. One of the reasons there are so many of these in use is that many local government programs that are trying to encourage composting by either giving away composters or offering them at a reduced price will choose this model of compost bin to give away. Because of this many folks get one because the price is too good to pass up, but it's a great starter compost bin, and many folks have gone back to purchase another after the first, which is a real testimonial in itself.
Bottom line, the Earth Machine is a good low end compost bin. But in some ways you get what you pay for, its on the smaller size of composters, it is made from plastic and can be broken if you try, and it has no bottom to it so there can be problems with pests unless you take preventative actions. But, for the price, you get a decent composter.