Much to the chagrin of some other Compost Junkies, I really like the Exaco Trading Kitchen Compost Collector. It's big, it has a great filter, and it's easy to clean, but that's not all...
Using the 14 criteria on our kitchen compost container page, I review this "not so little" food waste container and explain why I think it's one of the best units on the market. When you're finished this page, let's see if you agree...
I've also put together a video summary of this review. I don't go into as much detail in the video as I do in the text, so you may enjoy both.
Exaco Trading's kitchen composter looks good. I'm not going to lie to you and claim it's the prettiest container on the market, especially compared to those stainless steel compost pails, but it definitely isn't an eye-sore. It's boxy and green, which falls right in line with your other recycling containers (boxy and blue), right? To top it off, Exaco's unit even has a cute little flower cut out of the lid which also doubles as the ventilation holes. Genius!
Oh ya! When it comes to capacity, this kitchen compost unit is the bee's knees. This was one of the major selling features for me. It's capable of holding a whopping 2.4 Gallons of food waste...amazing, eh? Most other units on the market only hold about a gallon, which in my opinion, just isn't enough.
If you haven't watched it already, check out the video above to see how I have to cram my wilted chard into the 1 gallon unit just to make it fit, whereas it fits easily into the Exaco unit.
It's plastic with smooth walls, so cleaning this container is fairly easy. My one observation in this area is as follows - due to the size of this unit, you may have difficulty fitting it under your kitchen faucet to clean. In which case, I recommend using your laundry tub. If you don't have access to a laundry tub, then you may want to re-think your decision.
It's thin plastic (1.4 lbs), so it's much lighter than your ceramic kitchen compost crocks as well as most of the stainless steel units. Overall, I'd much rather carry this container to my outdoor compost pile than the Norpro kitchen compost keeper.
Does it have one? Yes! Does it seem like it might be one of the first areas to fail on this container? Yes! Would I still highly recommend you buy this unit? Yes!
Like I said above, the lid has a cute little flower cut out in it, what more could you ask for? Ha! I'm only kidding. In all seriousness, the lid is light-weight, it latches shut, and is attached to the main unit so you never have to worry about misplacing it. Overall, two thumbs up on the lid criteria.
It's got one.
How much are the replacements? Amazon is currently selling a set of three for $15.99. That's a little pricey, especially if you're replacing them every three months as per recommended. I guess it will all depend on your "stink-tolerance". Being a true Compost Junkie, my stink tolerance is pretty high.
I don't dare say it again...please refer to my "cute" comments above. Rest assured, it's got adequate ventilation.
9. Size of Opening
Yeehaw!!! This is yet another one of my favorite features about this kitchen compost container; the opening is HUGE! To be exact, it's 8" x 7". That means a wide variety of organic food waste will fit into this container. That's a big plus for me, as you saw in the video.
It's made of high density polythylene (HDPE) a.k.a. plastic. That means two things - 1. The container itself is recyclable and 2. It's a petroleum-based product, booooo!
Again, it's made of plastic, so as long as the handle doesn't break, it could last you a lifetime. Also, it's made in Canada, so you know it's of the highest quality, eh? If it's good enough to withstand the weather inside an igloo (because we all live in igloos up here), it's good enough for all other areas of the world.
12. Hanging Capability
Yes! The hinge on the back of the container has two hooks that allow it to be mounted to a wall or the inside of a cupboard door.
Would I recommend doing this? Sure, but you must promise me one thing...you'll post your feedback in the comments section below (i.e. was it easy to mount? how long have you had it mounted? Has it ever fallen off the mounting screws?)
13. Instructions and Support
There were no additional instructions provided with this kitchen compost pail. Until recently, I thought the use of these containers was pretty self-explanatory (i.e. Put your waste into the container. When full, empty into compost pile or municipal collection bin), but that doesn't always appear to be the case.
On more than one occasion, I've been asked how you're supposed to use these kitchen compost units. The confusion relates to the fact that some people think that you're supposed to leave the contents in the pail and it will turn into compost. Seems obvious to the well-versed Compost Junkie, but that's not the case across the board...yet! Soon enough, our Tribe will have educated the masses, right?
As for customer support - I've sent Exaco Trading a bogus email complaint to see how quickly they respond. Cue the Jeopardy music, because the clocks tickin' guys...
Update - 2 Hours Later...
That was the fastest online customer service I have ever received. Exaco Trading's Vice President of Sales wrote me back already (within 2 hours of me sending my initial email), and here's the best part - it's SUNDAY! That's excellent product support. Great job Exaco!
Prices range between $15.99US-47.95CA for these units. That upper limit price was quoted from Amazon.ca. Needless to say, even though I live in Canada, I purchased my unit from Amazon.com. With shipping included, it was still cheaper than purchasing from the Canadian retailer.
and most importantly, buy this unit if you...
Other Related Pages
Compost Containers - How to select the right model
Hanging Countertop Collector - Another great addition to your kitchen
Bokashi Composter - How can it help speed up your composting?
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