Eco Stack Composter: Product Review
As a gardener up north, we composted our table scraps and yard waste in a homemade composter created out of chicken wire. It was unsightly. So after moving to south Florida I was happy to find a simple compost bin with an elegant design – the Eco StackTM Composter by Gardener’s Supply Company.
Assembling the Eco Stack Composter
A big box was delivered to my house. I opened up the box with trepidation to find the Eco Stack composter packed inside – in pieces. Putting together gadgets is not my idea of a fun afternoon so I was thrilled to find that the three pieces simply stack together and the lid fits tightly on top. It takes seconds to assemble and there are no complicated pieces or tools needed. How great is that?
Strong But Light
The composter is made out of UV-stabilized polyethylene. I have had it several months and even in the brutal unforgiving South Florida sun, it still looks brand new. Plastic garden pots tend to fade and disintegrate with time here, but the Eco Stack so far has shown no signs of deterioration. Plus there are no metal parts to rust, break or get lost.
The one drawback here is the light weight of the composter. When it’s not full, it can be blown over in a strong wind or knocked over by animals (like dogs and curious raccoons). Although the Eco Stack stayed put through strong wind gusts, it would’ve been nice to have stakes to anchor it to the ground.
How It Works
The Eco Stack composter works like a traditional compost bin. You drop yard debris and kitchen scraps in the top and wait for them to break down into black gold.
Related Article: Composting: Resources and Tips for Making Great Compost
There’s no bottom on the Eco Stack compost bin, allowing worms to enter the bin and help break down the material inside.
And the lid is designed to catch rainwater and let it into the bin, keeping things moist to help accelerate the composting process. Note that the lid is very tight fitting; you won’t be able to lift it off with only one hand.
One difference between the Eco Stack and traditional composting bins is that there’s no need to turn the compost with a shovel or compost aerator since there are vents in the sides to provide oxygen (the organic matter in the bin needs oxygen to break down into compost).
Over time, the material in the bin will turn into compost, starting from the bottom. When the Eco Stack compost bin is full, you simply lift off all the sections, remove the compost, restack the composter and drop the unfinished scraps back into it. Shovel the compost into a wheelbarrow or bucket and use it in your garden. I haven’t yet reached that stage but I can see the material in the composter breaking down quickly.
A benefit of this system is that you don’t have to wait for all of the compost to be ready before using it. On the other hand, if you want access to the compost before the whole bin is finished, you must remove the top layer of material to retrieve the compost below (unlike other composters that have access directly to the compost at the bottom of the bin).
What About Rodents?
A concern for many homeowners is attracting rodents and other pests with the compost bin.
The Eco Stack composter has holes at the bottom for aeration but these can allow access for critters. You can purchase a Rodent Screen from Gardener’s Supply to put underneath the compost bin or use something of your own, like hardware cloth (I had black plastic sheeting I cut and doubled over and placed the composter on top of that). This type of screen will prevent critters from digging holes under the composter and feasting on kitchen scraps but it won’t stop them from entering the holes in the sides of the bin.
If rodents are an issue for you, consider wrapping the entire bottom of the Eco Stack composter with ¼-inch hardware cloth, including up the sides to cover the aeration holes.
Good Size for Smaller Gardens
At 24 inches across (at the base) and 39 ½ inches tall, the Eco Stack compost bin would fit well in almost any garden but is on the small side for those with large yards or who do a lot of composting.
It holds 7 ½ bushels (9 cubic feet) of material, which is more than most tumbling composters but less than a typical compost bin.
Because of the brownish color (which blends in well in the garden) and tapered sides, it’s a little more stylish than other composters so there’s not as much need to hide it away in a corner.
Good Customer Service
I had a question about using the Eco Stack composter so I called the toll free number for Gardener’s Supply and was connected to a helpful representative who answered my question fully and explained the process of composting. Their toll free number is 802-660-3505. Gardener’s Supply is an employee-owned company based out of Vermont.
I give the Eco Stack Composter a 4-shovel rating. It’s sturdy, easy to assemble, and does make compost over time. It would’ve been nice to have rodent screening over the bottom and holes, as well as some way to anchor it to the ground.
Where to Buy
The Eco Stack™ Composter is a Gardener’s Supply exclusive. It’s $128.00 and is available though the Gardener’s Supply website. Economy Shipping (4-9 business days) is $17.99, while FedEx Ground (2-6 business days) is $21.98 in the Continental U.S.
You can also find the Eco Stack compost bin on Amazon for $128 plus $20.95 shipping.
And now over to you – Have you tried any compost bins in your garden? How did it work? Let us know in the comments below!
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