If you’re an environmentally conscious person that’s ever left food scraps on your plate or counter after cooking a meal, you’ve probably felt a twinge of guilt as you scrape it into the trash. After all, food scraps make up a large amount of what we throw out — combined with yard waste, almost 30%. Compost is an organic material derived from this food and yard waste — you can add it to soil to help plants grow, which is why it’s useful for both amateur and professional gardeners who don’t like chemical-based fertilizers. Municipal composting is available in some locations, but it’s impossible to control the nature of the end product.
Using an at-home composter is a great way to minimize that waste. While there are plenty of compost bins and manual compost machines on the market (usually powered by a tumbling motion) are space-consuming, smelly, and not as effective as electric alternatives. They might have a higher price tag, but here’s why an electric composter is a much better choice for a range of lifestyles.
An electric composter, also known as a food cycler, uses heat, aeration and pulverization to reduce the volume of food waste, just like a regular composter. First, it undergoes a drying process, which kills plant diseases and pathogens. Then, it grinds your scraps into a compost pile, breaking down the volume even more into tiny, powdery particles. This creates a potent instant fertilizer, which is ideal for home gardeners. Finally, it cools the contents to room temperature, so you can handle it safely.
However, unlike normal compost piles, the end result with a food cycler ends up 100% dry and sterile. And unlike normal compost methods, an electric version greatly reduces the emissions and odor of food waste, completing the composting process much faster than non-electric models.
If you have limitations in terms of time, space, and physical mobility, going electric might make life a lot easier than tumblers and bins. It’s a fantastic choice for those who live in cold temperatures since with an electric food cycler, you don’t need to create a compost pile outdoors. The stink-free factor is also pretty enticing — whenever food breaks down, it emits a bad odor and can attract all kinds of bugs and animals into your home.
Previously, composters were limited to those with yard space. But an electric composter allows you to partake in the activity, even if you live in a condo or small apartment. Whether you’re looking to improve your green thumb, store organic waste, or reduce odor in your house, this is a low-maintenance, all-season solution that’s well worth the price.
1. Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50
The Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 is the most popular electric composter available online, cutting waste by up to 90%. With a sleek design, flawless performance and ergonomic handle, this compact food cycler only takes up a cubic foot of space and has a spacious capacity inside. LED lights alert you to the different processing stages (processing takes four to eight hours total), and the electric composter can be placed anywhere in your home. Their carbon filtration system ensures that odors are completely invisible.
Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50
2. BeyondGREEN Electric Tumbler Composter
Another in-demand offering on the market by BeyondGREEN that’s ideal for non-pet owners, this electric tumbler kitchen composter provides insta-fertilizer in no time at all. The machine is also quieter than other composters on the market, with the motor only turning on for 15 minutes — the rest of the time, it’s just curing the waste with heat inside. Plus, this electric composter is waterproof, so you can hose it down or rinse it off easily.
BeyondGREEN Electric Tumbler Composter
3. BeyondGREEN All-Electric Pet Waste and Organic Waste Composter
This addition to composting technology can be used indoors and outdoors, culminating in a high-nitrogen compost that can be used in your garden ASAP. Not only does this machine break down yard waste and food scraps, but it breaks down beyondGREEN waste bags (and pet waste as well). The double-chambered system composts waste in the top chamber while curing the compost in the bottom chamber. This Energy Star certified composter has a four-gallon weekly capacity and is made from recyclable material.
beyondGREEN All-Electric Pet Waste and Organic Waste Composter
4. Tero Wifi Connected Automatic Composter
Tero’s futuristic-looking food cycling device is available in a basic model, as well as an upgraded one with a WiFi connection, so you can control and monitor your composter from afar — even the real-time progress of a current cycle. In terms of detailed data and stats, the Tero is in a class of its own. Its speed, user-friendly controls and elongated yet compact shape allow you to maximize space. The interior bucket and blade are dishwasher-friendly.
Tero Wifi Connected Automatic Composter
5. Pela Lomi Countertop
While this is only available for pre-order in January 2021, it’s significantly easier to run than other electric composters, with just one button to initiate a cycle. This makes it accessible for the whole family and can help parents teach kids about the benefits of composting and how it can save our planet. Just fill, press, and take out your new soil. The Lomi has three modes: Express, Eco and Bioplastic, which makes this the first home composter to break down certified compostable plastics.
Pela Lomi Countertop
6. Digital Zakka Food Recycler Waste Bin Composter
This Food Recycler Waste Bin Composter is known for its large capacity — according to the brand, you can go an entire week without emptying it. That being said, it also takes up more space and can’t be stored on the countertop. Still, it’s smell-free, and ideal for those who might not have the time to change it out as frequently. If your priority is a larger capacity that you don’t have to manually tumble, consider this electric composter.