Outdoor Compost Bins


It appears rodents have chewed through some of the openings on our existing plastic bins which are 20+ yrs old and were supplied by the City of T.O. Any advice or recommendations before we decide which replacement model to buy?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners, and thank you for composting.

This Composting Made Easy brochure from York Region provides a good overview of how to compost, and outlines the pros and cons of different types of compost bins.

The various bin designs will all produce acceptable compost if a few key steps are followed:

  • Alternate layers of green (high nitrogen) and brown (high carbon) materials as you fill your composter.
  • Occasionally add a thin layer of soil to the pile to add more microorganisms.
  • Keep the pile damp. Add water if needed.
  • Keep the material in the pile aerated by periodically turning it over with a pitch fork (ideally), or at least stirring it enough to expose the older material to air.

Some points to consider since rodents are a problem in your area:

  • Try to locate the bin in an area that is inaccessible to animals.
  • Install the composter by digging a base up to 15 cm deep to prevent pests from burrowing under the bin.
  • Animal pests are attracted to meat, bones or fatty foods like cooking oil, cheese or salad dressings. To avoid having your new bin chewed by rodents, keep such items out of the bin.