Compost Drums: 5 Models, Compared


There are a lot of different types of composters out there!

Compost drums are typically bins that tumble or rotate in some fashion, which helps keep your compost mixed up. Keeping your compost well mixed can be a big plus, if you want to compost faster.

The disadvantage of compost drums is that they don’t hold as much material as other types of composters. They usually hold somewhere around the 50 gallon range, because anything much bigger than that gets too hard to tumble.

Here are 5 different compost drums that you might consider if you’re looking for one.

The Envirocycle Compost Drum sits on a base with rollers built into the bottom. You spin it in place on top of the base to keep your compost mixed. The coolest feature is that the bottom part also holds 5 gallons of compost tea that drains out of the drum. You can either add it to your watering can to use it, or pour it out on your flower beds or garden directly if you want to add a big microbial boost. Usually costs around $149.

The Compost Wizard Jr Drum holds about 53 gallons, and also sits on a base. The base on this one doesn’t collect compost tea, though. It’s not quite as easy to open and close the lid as the Envirocycle, but it’s still a dependable unit. Around $149.

This 55 gallon compost drum is actually made from a recycled food drum! So you’re reusing something that might otherwise go into the landfill to create compost with kitchen and garden scraps that might otherwise go into the landfill. How’s that for a double win? This one flips end over end, on a stand. It’s extremely durable, because you know how tough those food barrels have to be to make it all around the world, or across the country. Costs around $199.

The Tumbleweed compost drum also sits on a stand and flips vertically, instead of horizontally. The coolest feature about this compost drum is that it has lids on both sides, so it’s always easy to add more materials! The legs are made out of galvanized steel, so they are very sturdy and will stay out in the weather without rusting. It costs around $189.

This Joraform compost drum holds more than the rest of these models — 70 gallons. It has a bunch of handle grips around the middle portion so that you can grab and turn it. It’s kind of hard to see in the picture. This is a metal compost bin, with metal legs. Unlike the other drums, this bin has two different compartments so that you can fill one up, then let it break down as you are filling the other compartment, and then start all over. It also has this weird insulation material inside that works very well in cold weather months. It’s usually around $399. They also make a smaller version.

Do you have any questions about these units? If so, leave me a comment and I’ll see if I know the answer, or can look it up for you!

Alternatively, if you’re using one of these, please share your experience.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

composter March 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

Compost is nothing more than decomposed plant material, so you don’t need a fancy bin to make your own compost. You can create compost in a heap on the ground, but most gardeners think that containing your compost pile makes it look tidier.


sreerama December 7, 2011 at 1:47 am

Dear Sir,

I am preparing cow dung and veg.waste + garden soil compost in a big one side opened drum closed with wooden piece, inside the garden. Is this drum is recommented please let me advice me.

Expecting your reply asap.

Thanking you
SR Raj


Steve December 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

Sreerama, Yes, you can use a drum to compost, however you need drill or cut holes to that you get oxygen into the material. Your compost bin needs to be well vented.
Also make sure you turn (aerate) it regularly and keep it as moist as a well rung sponge.


Leave a Comment