DIY Kitchen Compost Pails

My new favorite kitchen thing is a thing I’m reusing for something else.

Romertopf oven turned kitchen counter compost container. © Liesl Clark

Ta da! My new swank kitchen countertop compost holder! It’s a Romertopf oven turned compost collector that actually looks nice on the kitchen counter and it has a lid, too.

Romertopf Oven/Compost Container with Lid. © Liesl Clark

This new beauty is a replacement for our last counter compost container that was made of plastic and do you know what it did? It cracked. No surprise, right?

What's in Our Compost? Paper scraps, hair, pet fur, wax paper, egg shells, cotton fabrics, string....

I was determined to find a non-plastic container and the terra cotta Romertopf is perfect for the job. Here’s other wonderful thing about this compost container:

Design your cupboard so you can hide the compost container. © Liesl Clark

It fits in a little spot we designed inside the trash/recycling cupboard where we can store our compost under the counter most of the time. It’s the perfect size for said slot.


No need to buy a compost container (I’m amazed to see that compost pails cost anywhere from $20 t0 $60!)

And, what’s with the charcoal filters the store bought compost holders have? If you just empty your compost pail into your compost every day, there’s no need for odor control, right? And, lining it with a plastic bag? Just. No. The whole point in having a compost pail is to tip the thing over in your compost, take it back into the kitchen and wipe/wash it out. Enough said.

Did you know that if you compost your food scraps (and the other things we know can go into a compost), you can reduce your waste by 60%? That’s a great reduction in your trash bill. Between our chickens, guinea pig, dog, and worms, our compost is reduced by 2/3 each day as these critters get first dibs on the kitchen scraps.

I looked around on the internet, and found a few other innovative reuses for a kitchen compost caddy. My favorites were a vintage ice bucket and a, get this, mason jar.

What do you hold your kitchen scraps in, destined for the compost bin?

12 thoughts on “DIY Kitchen Compost Pails

  1. Hi Liesl, nice idea! We use a stainless steel bowl. We already had this, and you don’t need a plastic bag inside. It is ease to wash and fits under the sink. Some people tend to combine kitchen scraps and plastic bag. I really don’t know why. Have a lovely evening!


  2. We use a stainless milk pail which has a lid. And thanks to your previous article, when I had a sick dog this week, guess where the vomit went. I don’t know why it did not occur to me earlier that compost was the right place for that! So obvious, and yet…! =)


  3. Ha, we also had a plastic compost container previously. It didn’t crack but it would just get filthy and I couldn’t stand it anymore. So now we use a glass bowl that was gathering dust in the cupboard. I still line it with a strip or two of junk mail most of the time, but if it does get dirty now it’s just a quick wipe and done.

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  4. Pingback: Easy Scrappy Vegetable Broth | Pioneering The Simple Life

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