Chase Patton, & Dr. Ashley Allen


The intention of my research was to test various at home composting methods to determine which method was the most efficient, user friendly to the average citizen, and passed the “smell test”. By doing this research I hoped to gain knowledge about the various composting methods to share my findings with others and allow them to also be able to practice at home sustainability. Even though one single person or household cannot singlehandedly “fix” the earths food waste problems, the more people or households that do participate in at home sustainability such as composting we can then start to see change.


Three different composting methods were used to grow a garden in Upper Arlington, Ohio. The three methods we used were, electric, tumble, and vermi-composting. To distinguish between the differing composting we named each method:

-Electric composter: Bitsy

-Tumble Composter: Bertha

-Vermi-composter: Betty/Baby Betty

Each week we measured the pH, moisture, and temperature of the soil as well as the height of the plants. After 5 weeks, plant growth maxed out, and we then started recording plant harvest. 


Compost Methods

Electric Composter- Bitsy

This way of composting provided useable soil in the least amount of time compared to the other two methods that were used. Though it provided soil in a more time efficient manner, the electric composter was not user friendly for the average citizen. There were difficulties determining which settings were the correct ones to use, and the amount of time in which to leave the composter on. For someone first starting out, this can be a very steep learning curve. Additionally, Bitsy omitted a very pungent odor that would not be desirable inside of someones home. For this reason, we determined that electric composting came in last place among the three methods used. 

Tumble Composter- Bertha

We used a double barrel tumble composter for this method of composting. The soil was created by simply tossing in an equal amount of "green" and "brown" compost and turning the tumbler 2-3 times per week. This method was the second most time efficient in creating usable soil and had less of a smell issue than the other two methods

Vermi-Composter- Betty and Baby Betty

For the vermi-composting we used one large table top composter containing 1000 red wigger worms and a smaller vermi-composting container with 250 red wrigglers. Overall, this form of composting did not smell or have a major learning curve. While the vermi-composting was the easiest to work with, it did take the longest time to produce usable soil.