Designing a Composter You Won't Want to Hide Designing a Composter You Won't Want to Hide

Designing a Composter You Won't Want to Hide

by Adele Peters

April 14, 2013

For those of you lucky enough to live in a city with an official composting program—say, San Francisco—recycling food trash is as easy as putting it in the right bin. For the rest of us, it's a little harder. Where do you keep your compost bin? Do you really want a big plastic tub in your yard? Two Irish architects were inspired to come up with a design for a wormery that's small enough to keep on a balcony, and good-looking enough that you wouldn't want to hide it. The designers explain:

We’ve been keen vermiculture enthusiasts for a number of years and have can o’ worms set up at our homes and in the car park behind our office—we feed the worms with our kitchen organic waste and they create highly fertile soil and liquid fertilizer.

The problem is that the bins are not made locally, and are plastic and ugly so you always want to hide them and they’re not always desirable for small outdoor spaces. We wanted to design a wormery as something beautiful, a piece of furniture that could contribute to a small urban garden or apartment balcony.

The result is a small, beautiful wooden box with dovetail joints. The lid is designed as a "miniature green roof," where herbs or flowers can be added to make the whole thing look like a windowbox. At the end of the season, dead annuals can be popped into the composter below. It's modular, so more boxes can be added as needed. For apartment-dwellers with a little space to spare, this could be an good way to help fight food waste.

Images courtesy of ABCG Architecture

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Designing a Composter You Won't Want to Hide