Friday, October 26, 2012

Full Circle Kitchen Composter: Review and Giveaway!

Ever since we started composting garden waste several years ago, I have not looked at the garbage from our kitchen the same either. I started saving that and running it out to the compost bin, too. It's located at the very back of our acre, and that was all fine and dandy in the summer, but come winter, I would drag my feet at taking it all the way out there.

I tried saving it in a mini metal garbage can, but soon, the fruit flies appeared and made that an undesirable option. I put it right outside the back door, but then I'd forget and I'd end up sending scraps down the garbage disposal. The other problem was that the metal can got frozen to the back deck step and I couldn't take it out to the compost bin when I needed to.

So I stopped saving my kitchen scraps in the winter. It was just too much hassle.

Part of my food waste issue was taken care of earlier this summer, when I got a Worm Factory 360 and I started feeding some of the scraps from my kitchen to my worms. They're pretty efficient at eating stuff, but they can't keep up with all of it, all of the time.

Then along came the Full Circle Fresh Air Kitchen Composter!

I was sent one of these free of charge to review and I was anxious to try it, because I was really impressed with all the good things I'd read from others who had used it. No smell, no gnats, they all seemed to say.

The composter is made of plastic and measures 11.4 x 8.5 x 9 inches.  It uses
special biodegradable bags for collecting the waste so you can throw bag and all
into your larger compost bin.

I kept the composter on my kitchen counter, right by the sink, so it was handy for me to add kitchen waste to it. But after about a week, I noticed a bad smell and an abundance of fruit flies around the composter. None of the reviews I'd read mentioned this being a problem, in fact, they were singing the praises of the Full Circle composter because those two things weren't an issue. Why did I have a problem?

It turns out that I didn't follow the rules - the basic rules for composting. And I knew better! There are certain foods that you just don't put in compost. Like meat. I knew that and I hadn't put meat in there. Or anything greasy. I knew that too and I hadn't added anything greasy. Eggs.


Egg shells are allowed, but not the eggs themselves, and I'd added a couple of hard-boiled eggs that had been left in the fridge too long. Do not do this. Trust me. Ick. Ugh. Yuck.

So I started over, reviewed the list of things you can compost, and after about a week with no smell and no fruit flies, I declared the Full Circle Fresh Air Kitchen Composter a success.  The bags they use are fairly tough bags of this kind, but you should be careful when handling them and not be too rough with them. They "breathe," which allows any heat build-up to escape, as well as excess gases which may form as scraps begin to decompose. When it's full (or sooner), you just take the bag out and throw it in the compost bin, bag and all.

I discovered why they recommend disposing of the filled bags in about five days. The biodegradable bags are designed to begin breaking down when they come into contact with organic materials. Because there was no smell and no fruit flies, and because I was still feeding some table scraps to the worms, I didn't fill my Full Circle composter very quickly. After about four weeks, I began to notice a few fruit flies. Hmmmm...

The bag doesn't take long before it
starts to decompose!
I decided to remove the bag even though it wasn't full and discovered that indeed the bag does decompose! It had a hole in it and the fruit flies had found it. So I learned what not to do and that you really should follow instructions!

I have found the Full Circle Fresh Air Kitchen Composter to be very easy to use, and that it does everything it claims to do, if you follow their recommendations for use.  I've been using it for about two months now and can highly recommend it for kitchen composting.

The people at Full Circle were kind enough to offer to give a composter to one of my readers, so here's how you can be entered to win it:

  • Leave a comment to this blog post, telling me if you compost your kitchen scraps or not. If you don't, what is the reason you don't? Even if it's just that you don't want to, feel free to tell me that. It's okay!


  • Enter your contact information on the Rafflecopter form. I'll be using this to choose a winner via and will contact the winner using the information entered there. (But don't forget to also leave a comment to this blog post!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can read more about the Full Circle Kitchen Composter and other products the company makes, as well as where to purchase them, on the Full Circle website.

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Carolee, winner of a Full Circle Kitchen Composter of her very own! Thank you to everyone who entered and to Full Circle for providing the composter both to me and to the winner of the giveaway!
*Full Circle provided me with a kitchen composter free of charge. My experience and opinions stated here are my own.


Douglas E. Welch said...

Oh yes, please!

I have been needing one of these for a long time. I have had the same issues you have had with finding the right container, of the right size and shape to fit into my small kitchen.


Hidden Haven Homestead said...

Right now I use a old ice bucket but still battle the fruit flies. I have 2 buckets actually. One for compost and one for scrapes to feed the chickens. I like you put off going to the compost pile until the flies drive me crazy. This sounds perfect and I wonder why I haven't heard of this product before. Thanks for sharing and for the give away!!

Jennifer said...

I do keep scraps for my compost under my kitchen sink. It really grosses out my husband, but I have found that we hardly ever use our garbage disposal any more. I use an old plastic pitcher with a tight lid. Not too many problems with fruit flies yet, but I do empty it every few days. Would love to have a fancy compost bin like yours!!!

RURAL said...

I am searching for a solution, we desperately need compost, and I hate to throw veggie scraps out, this sounds ideal.

It gets down to -30 here in the winter, no one is trudging out every day to the compost, you can't dig in it.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Anonymous said...

I've composted garden waste but just started saving kitchen scraps this summer. What I've found that works okay is to keep a bag of scraps in the freezer and add to it. When it's full, I hike down the hill to the compost pile, dig a hole and dump it in and cover it up. I don't know what I will do this winter....haven't thought it through yet.

Modern Mia said...

We are ardent composters, even the kids. We currently have a different style composter sitting on the back porch because, even after following all the directions, the bag still won't stay on. urgh. So it sits.

Unknown said...

This would be perfect as my husband worm composts but puts stuff in a bag and leaves it on the counter to take out to them later, much later.

Gail said...

I usually have nothing to compost in the winter since I have animals that eat much of our scraps.

We do compost a lot in the summer but rarely is it food wastes.

Anonymous said...

We currently save kitchen scraps in a large glass bowl, but I would love to have something like this in the kitchen. Thanks for the informative post.

Kristen kmb34me@ said...

Composting is so important in our house! Especially kitchen waste.

Anonymous said...

we have rved since 99 and there was no way to compost i garden in pots now i can compost too love your blog it has great ideas even i can use lola

Anonymous said...

This would be great to use -I've been needing something - I love the bag composting how neat! I love your review too-so honest!
vmorgan456 (at) yahoo (dot)com

Christina said...

I am totally at my wits end with gnats! I compost and i have a little bucket where i collect the scraps from the kitchen and take them out every day. I have so many gnats. would love to try this little deal!

Unknown said...

I use an old ice cream bucket and it draws fruit flies, which I hate. Like you, I have a one acre garden and in the winter it is a long hike to the back 40 to deposit my daily kitchen waste. This device sounds like a perfect solution!

Carolee said...

Like you, I compost ardently in nice weather, but when it's really cold, it seems too far to take my little metal bucket over to the farm. I'd love to try the composter & maybe even carry it in my shop!

Darla Miller said...

I have been composting for years - two ways. I have a small cute bucket on the counter for the worm composting and a larger bucket below the counter for our community composting in the back area of our yard. Someone is always adding kitchen scraps, leaves, grass, garden cuttings or turning the compost. It has been great to recycle all of this into beautiful compost! I would LOVE to try the Full Circle Fresh Air Kitchen Composter! Thanks for the opportunity!
Darla Miller

Fran Malone said...

I have been composting since 1983 when we bought our first house! I currently vermicompost and have two compost bins active in the garden. I have a huge problem with fruit flies but found that if I wash my fruit when I bring it home either in Dawn dish washing soap or vinegar the fruit flies are a lot less.

I use a coffee can to contain my vegetable matter which is a little ugly but convenient! I too struggle with going to the compost bins in the winter because of the mud and the snow!

A new system would be very welcome because we are done with the fruit flies!

lonestarhoneybee said...

I have tried at different times to compost my kitchen scraps but without success. You have described some of the same things that have happened to me. I was going to try again next spring / summer, however, may be able to start sooner with some help from a Full Circle Kitchen Composter! Thank you for your review!

lonestarhoneybee said...

I did not leave any contact info in my comment. I have attempted to compost before but without success. My previous comment said that you have described some of experiences.

jeannine said...

I've tried composting in the past, but I just never had any luck with it. I've been wanting to try again, though, so I would love to win this composter.

Laura said...

I do like to compost. We have a compost pile behind my potting shed.Only problem we have had is keeping the dog from eating the scraps! lol

Nancybeth said...

I too do not compost during the winter because it is just a pain to get the stuff out to the bin in the cold and snow. This sound like it might make my composting year around.

Unknown said...

We compost so much--anything that we don't give to the chickens goes to the compost bins in the forest. (Of course, no meat, oil or dairy.) The problem is that because the compost bins are all the way in the back garden, I often have the bowl of scraps sitting on the kitchen counter until I'm headed down there or can force the kids to take it to the compost. I've tried a compost bucket before, but it just got stinky and filled with fruit flies, so we try to empty the bowl daily. Honestly, it's just nasty looking. I'm glad to hear the bags do break down well, because once I put a "compostable" cup into the compost bin to see how long it would take for it to decompose. Guess what? Two years later, the cup is perfectly intact. Yikes. That's so much for the fun giveaway--I'll definitely check out this system.

Gary K. said...

We have been composting for three years and added a great amount of "black gold" to our veggie garden at the beginning of spring this year, we had a great harvest and are dedicated to composting correctly, our problem is the coffee cans on the counter. I take them out every other day to empty so to keep the fruit flies down and that helps but it is so unsightly! This little counter top composter would be a real blessing, sign us up!
Gary K.

ajc1696 said...

I do compost, most of the time, in an outdoor composter. I used to do vermicompost but eventually that kind of petered out. I definitely need low-maintenance systems or I run out of time and don't do follow through when I should! This looks very nice and very helpful. Thanks for the chance to win!

Trish said...

We do try to. We forget as it is not routine yet.

Jennie said...

I used to, but we moved this summer and I haven't started it back up yet. I am definitely planning to though!

Unknown said...

I have been composting for many years. Still using empty plastic coffee pails, 48 oz size, and sometimes I can fill two of them. The contents gets pretty slimy so the I sure could use the Full Circle product. I use the compost in my raised beds.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kylee, I am a kitchen composter too. Everything from veggie and fruit trimmings such as apple cores and peels, paper towels, nutshells and eggshells too. Even old cooked veggie leftovers, old white rice leftover from chinese food...goes in there. Problem is...those damned fruit flies!
Would love to try this new composter! Mine is an old ceramic canister with a big crack down the side. It needs to be retired!
...Joyce Grigonis

Kylee Baumle said...

Congratulations to Carolee! You're the winner of the Full Circle Kitchen Composter!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Keep on composting! :-)

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