Although a bin isn't necessary, especially if you're composting only yard waste, it will ensure that your compost pile is tidy and compact. In most instances, an enclosed do-it-yourself box or a store-bought container poses a better choice than a loose pile.
Composting bins keep warmth and moisture in and pets, rodents and other pests out. They come in just about any size and shape, and fit any budget.
You'll want to consider the amount of space available. You might choose one that is several square feet for your yard. In an apartment, you'll want something that can be easily moved to a corner of the balcony before guests arrive or maybe a countertop model that slides under your cabinets.
Consider your décor when choosing. You'll find bins made of plastic, wood, metal and ceramic. You can make your own using wooden pallets, cinder blocks or even old rubber tires. Add a personal touch by painting it your favorite color, mounting flower boxes on top or planting a vine around the edges.
The type and location of the bin make a difference in the amount of time you spend tending to your pile. Use a tumbling bin for easy aerating. A bin near the house encourages everyday use. Placement next to your garden bed requires less hauling. And a spot in the sun might need more watering, but could be good for a cold climate.
With so many options, you're sure to find the bin that fits.