Crofton Countertop Compost Bin

Last Updated on May 23, 2022

EDITOR’S NOTES: Many of our readers come here looking for advice on getting the filter to remain in place in this compost bin. We recommend not using the filters because they’re not necessary. The compostable bags that come with this bin also aren’t necessary. If you regularly empty your countertop bin into your larger outdoor bin, you should not have problems with odors or bugs.

Also, Aldi sold this again in May of 2022 for $16.99 and in May of 2021 for $14.99. In August of 2021, Aldi sold a mini countertop compost bin made of plastic, and you can read about that bin here

This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve been composting my kitchen scraps for years. It keeps waste out of landfills and re-purposes it as garden fertilizer or a great top dressing for the lawn.

When you begin composting, besides getting a large bin to use outdoors, it’s also recommended that you get a small countertop container. A countertop bin allows you to collect kitchen scraps a bit at a time — your morning tea bag, the peel from the orange you ate with lunch, the stem ends from the artisan lettuce in your dinner salad — without having to run outside to the large compost bin every time.

In the past, I’ve used plastic buckets or ceramic cookie jars as my countertop compost collector. Some people use small waste baskets hidden in a kitchen cabinet, or some people are completely practical and use empty plastic ice cream tubs. If you want something that is both functional and looks good, in April of 2020, Aldi sold the Crofton Countertop Compost Bin.

Crofton Countertop Compost Bin

The bin sold for $14.99 at the time of publication, which is considerably cheaper than most countertop compost bins sold on Amazon. It’s made in China and is an Aldi Find (Special Buy), which means it’s in stores for a short time only. The bin’s features include:

  • 2 odorless filters and 5 compostable bags
  • 1-gallon capacity
  • Stainless Steel handle
  • Measures 8.39″ x 7.13″ x 9.3″
  • Available in White, Red, or Dusty Blue

The instructions on the box state you should place your bin on your counter and put food scraps in it during food prep or after meals. Once the bin is full, you can do either of the following:

  1. Remove the waste (with your compostable bags) and toss in your yard trimmings garbage can. (You might want to check with your local waste company first.)
  2. If you have a composting area, your composting waste (without the bags) can also be discarded there.

The box also has instructions on how to change the filter:

  1. Remove the lid from the compost bin, and check for mold or odor. If the filter is moldy, or odor becomes evident, it is time to replace your filter.
  2. Gently pull the compost filter away from the lid. Discard the filter.
  3. Place the new filter inside the lid by pressing firmly so the filter is secure and lays flat inside the lid.
  4. Continue composting.

The instructions recommend replacing your filter if you have a thick layer of mold growing on it. If this is a continuing issue, you may need to adjust what you compost and how often you empty your bin. Having your compost piled high in the bin so it touches the filter is not recommended and may promote mold growth.

Thoughts:

Crofton Countertop Compost Bin

The bin in action in my kitchen, alongside some house plants also purchased at Aldi over the years.

This countertop bin is larger than any I’ve previously used, but it still fits nicely on my countertop without taking up too much valuable space. It also adds a chic country aesthetic to my kitchen. It’s one of the prettier countertop bins I’ve had, and with “COMPOST” printed on it in clear lettering, there’s no mistaking it for the cookie jar.

When I pick it up to empty it, I can hear a small piece of something rattling quietly. It appears that the walls of the bin have some hollow space that is inaccessible, and the broken piece seems to be inside. The bin appears to be intact, though, and it doesn’t affect my ability to use the bin.

Crofton Countertop Compost Bin

What it looks like inside, with a few tea bags, orange peels, some grape stems, a toilet paper tube, and some used paper napkins.

In the past, I’ve always used countertop compost bins that are airtight without ventilation holes, which usually keeps smells contained and blocks access for fruit flies. A lot of people who compost swear by kitchen pails that have ventilation holes, though, because air flow reduces bad-smelling bacteria. I’m curious to see how it goes using a bin with a filter.

I’m not sure how long the filters will last, and Aldi does not offer information about how to obtain replacement filters, but Amazon sells a variety of filters that can be cut to fit your specific bin. The Aldi bin’s filters are about 5 and 1/4 inches in diameter.

Because our household does not frequently use curbside yard waste pickup services, I don’t intend to use the compostable bags that come with this bin.

Finally, the box for the Aldi countertop compost bin lists what you can and can’t compost, which can guide you as you get started with your own home composting project.

What to Compost:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Nut shells
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Yard/Grass trimmings
  • House plants
  • Hay and straw
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • Cotton and wool rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Hair and fur
  • Fireplace ashes

What Not to Compost:

  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs
  • Coal or charcoal ash
  • Dairy products (butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt)
  • Eggs
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants
  • Fats, grease, lard, or oils
  • Meat or fish bones and scraps
  • Pet waste
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides

And in closing, if you want more information about how to make your own compost, read my detailed post at our sister site, A Well Advised Life. Spoiler: my favorite outdoor bin is not the one Aldi sells but rather is the Earth Machine. I highly recommend it if you’re serious about composting and want to succeed at it.

UPDATE (5/22/2020): After two weeks of use, the filter in my compost bin suddenly developed white mold spots. I followed the directions for preventing mold and did not pile compost too high inside the bin, and I didn’t let material touch the filter itself, but I still got mold. I do not intend to replace the filter every two weeks because I can see the cost adding up, and I’m not a fan of regularly spending money to buy supplies for composting since I’ve been composting for years without having to spend extra. I rinsed the filter and set it out to air dry to see if I could prolong its lifespan. I went another week or so before the mold reappeared, so I washed it again, with some dish soap, and that seemed to work okay. Rinse and repeat.

After getting tired of washing and drying the filter, I’m currently experimenting with not using a filter at all. I generally empty my compost bin frequently enough that it does not have time to get too smelly, and if I put something that is especially potent in there, such as garlic remnants from when I use my garlic press, I usually empty it into my large outdoor bin right after dinner. So far, I haven’t had problems with fruit flies getting in through the filter holes. I will update with new developments as time passes.

Crofton Countertop Compost Bin

Mold on the bottom side of the filter. (Click to enlarge.)

Crofton Countertop Compost Bin

Mold on the upper side of the filter. (Click to enlarge.)

UPDATE (3/19/2022): I’ve been using this countertop bin for nearly two years now, and it’s still holding up great and I haven’t managed to break or crack it when taking it back and forth between my kitchen and my backyard bin. I don’t use compostable bags with it and haven’t used a filter with it most of the time I’ve owned it, after dealing with frequent mold issues. I empty this bin fairly often — maybe every two to four days — into my larger outdoor bin, and I haven’t had any problems with it smelling or attracting flies. I’ve also gotten compliments on how nice it looks on my counter.

The Verdict:

Aldi’s Crofton Countertop Compost Bin is an attractive and functional option for at-home composting. The purpose of a countertop bin is to collect several days of kitchen scraps so you aren’t frequently running to your larger outdoor compost bin in the yard. This countertop bin is spacious and comes with several filters and compostable bags, neither of which are actually necessary. If you’re trying to reduce the amount of landfill waste your household generates, this bin is a good tool.

 


About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at rachaelsjohnston.com.

50 Comments

  1. I was happy to pick this up at Aldi last week. It’s much easier to use than the stainless steel container we had. Our main compost bin is also from Aldi, purchased maybe 5 years ago? It’s a stationery bin, not like the current one they are selling. We hardly have any kitchen trash between composting and recycling.

    • I remember Aldi selling that stationary compost bin a few years ago. I bet it’s a better bin than the tumbling one I own that was in stores the other week, which does not seem to have enough capacity to efficiently break down materials. The stationary bin also has the benefit of being in contact with the ground so beneficial bugs have easy access to help break things down, too.

  2. I am wondering what are good compost bags to use that will fit in my Aldi bin? Any suggestions?

    • Since I’m not using bags with my bin, I’m not sure what bags would be best. It looks like Amazon sells a variety of compostable bags, though.

  3. Are the filters in the countertop compost washable?

    • I’m not sure. I think it’s a charcoal-based filter, and looking at some of the replacement filters sold on Amazon, they say not to rinse them. I don’t know what would happen if you washed the filter.

      • DO NOT RINSE. They will lose their shape. Difficult to find the right size replacement, however. Need to get round filters you can cut to size.

    • I don’t think they are worth the hassle. They did not break down well when added to my main compost bin. I just rinse the container out when I dump it

  4. I just bought one and am looking forward to your updates on how the filter holds up!

  5. What kind of plastic container did you mention that you used to use for composting? Thanks!

    • I used a plastic bucket with lid that came with my Earth Machine compost bin. You can use any bucket or container with a lid.

  6. I purchased the compost crock from Aldi several weeks ago. I too noticed that the filter would have mold spots after a week. I dump the compost materials in our composting area outside, then, I thoroughly wash the crock, lid and filter. I use Dawn and a little bleach then rinse very well. After washing the compost filter 3 times now it still seems to be working fine. I have no odor from the crock. I may purchase a pack of 6 filters just to have on hand but won’t be replacing them every week!
    I think it’s a great product for the price.

  7. I am so confused on how the filter fits in the top snugly without popping out. Any tips?

    • I haven’t had that problem. I stopped using the filters because they mold so quickly. I empty the countertop bin into my larger outdoor bin every other day or so, and it doesn’t get smelly that way. If I put something stronger like onion or garlic peels in, I empty it sooner.

    • I just bought a bin and can’t get the filter to stay in. Bad lid design: the top needs a little lip that you can push the filter into to secure it. For now, I just used a couple of pieces of tape to sort of hold it to the top. Waiting to see who answers you with better solutions.

      • I wonder if they’ve changed the lid design or the size of the filters for this year’s bin since that was never a problem when I initially used the filters on the bin I bought last year. You could consider ordering filters from someplace like Amazon that can be cut to size. If you got a slightly larger filter, would it stay in place?

      • I cut a tiny bit of the filter off around the edge and it now fits great.

      • The filter will NOT stay in. Piece of junk.

    • Good question. There is no way that the filter will fit securely. There is nothing to hold them in place.

    • I bought this same compost bin. How can we get the filter to hold into the lid?

    • I thought the same thing at first, that the filter was too big. It actually molds into the lip if you squish it in there. My husband had to press it in to form-fit cause I was getting frustrated. But it does fit, it’s like a moldable foam. Hope that is helpful.

    • I had that issue… I rinsed the filter thoroughly and fit it in while damp.

    • I was wondering the same thing, my filter does not stay in the top as well. Do I have a faulty filter pack or faulty top?

      • It’s a faulty top design. I returned mine last June but never deleted myself from these comments to see if they’d ever reply to all that they addressed it. Never saw that, just more confused folks like yourself. Bummer since it looked so nice, and Aldi is usually reliable.

      • You really don’t need to use a filter, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

  8. I just purchased the bin today and have already retuned it to the store and got a refund. The filters are too big for the lid and the lid is too small for the bin.

  9. Please send updates re: the filter update. Crazy that it doesn’t stay in place. Whoever designed this should find a new job !

  10. Me too! Can’t get mine to stay in.

  11. Same issue with the filter for me. Just brought mine home from the store and I came here thinking I was doing something wrong. Looks like they messed up the design. The included filters do not fit into the lid without majorly deforming them and they are too small to sit on the canister without falling inside. I think it will be a return before I even use it.

  12. April Daugherty

    Question how do you get the filter to stay in the lid? It’s almost as if the filter is to big, and does not fit it falls out

  13. The filters are too big, but I like the container and I didn’t want to return it. My solution was to take a pair of scissors and trim a little bit of the filter around its entire circumference. It will then fit snugly inside the cover.

  14. I came here with the express purpose of seeing what I was doing wrong with the filters! Will try trimming it – thanks!

  15. I also came here for the problem with the lid
    Guess I’ll just tape it and watch for mold

  16. I trimmed maybe 1/4” around – fits perfectly now.

  17. I came here to find out if there was a piece missing from my composter because the filters fall out. My husband actually accidentally dumped the filter into our outside compost heap when he emptied it. Very bad design. But it is better to have the nice canister on the counter than a bucket u dear the sink

  18. I purchased this bin a week ago. It came with 3 filters and 20 bags. The filter fits snugly into the lid. HOWEVER, I considered taking it back because the lid rocks like a two legged chair. What fruit flies that do not get into the vent holes will definitely get in at the base of the lid. I do like the look of the whole thing, but that rocking lid…it’s like the canister opening isn’t quite round at the sides where the handle is attached. Now I’m trying to find replacement filters and bags for the future.

  19. I got one f these today and came here to see what i was doing wrong with the filter so thanks previous solution providers! I trimmed the filter and used a folded over piece of packing tape to secure it in the center in case the fiction fit was not enough. If the filter develops mold I will try the spray natural fungus/mold preventative I use on my roses and tomatoes.

  20. Thanks for confirming that it wasn’t just me having a problem. I’m going to return it because cutting filters will get old real quick. I don’t believe the filters are wrong- the compost lid just doesn’t have the normal curved shape where it pops in and stays in place- and doesn’t get moldy. Yeah, someone dropped the ball. Disappointing since I really liked it until I got to that.

  21. I bought this a couple of weeks ago. The filter has to be pushed up inside the lid to fit properly. Just kind of push the center of the filter up against the lid. It will then snugly fit under the rim of the lid. I have had no problems with mine. The bags are compostable and I have had no odors. I empty it when almost full into the outside bin. It looks really nice sitting on my counter. Very pleased with it so far.

    • The filter on my container would definitely not stay in unless I trimmed around it to make it smaller. Other people didn’t need to do that to make it fit. I think that some containers may have a lip on the underside of the lid that allows the filter to fit snugly. I’m wondering if there was a production problem and a bad batch of containers were produced without the necessary lip? My container is a gray color. I’m curious…do other people who have the filter problem also have a gray colored container, or is the problem evident across all the available colors?

  22. I can not get the filter to stay in the lid. What am I doing wrong?

  23. I’m very pleased with my little crock and the new composting bin outside from Costco. I push the filter up into the top and it fits. I’ve noticed, however, that it molds. I plan to do a soak in Dawn and see what happens. It’s gratifying to know it’s possible to use the crock without the filter.

  24. I have had the same problem with the filters. We tried hot glue. Don’t bother! I will try the trimming. I love the looks enough to keep fighting it. I also had no problems with flies & gnats when the filter did stay in for a few days. I am contemplating quilt batting to see if that will work when my filters run out…

  25. I am clearly disappointed that Aldi does no recommend a supplier to replace the filter and bags. The filters and bags that came with the compost bin came from somewhere. That somewhere should provide replacements indefinitly;

  26. I too was in search of the answer to the falling filter problem. I have tried 2 side tape light and heavy-duty. The tape gets sweaty and the filter falls again. I will try trimming a little if you think that will help. Thanks all

  27. Love it!!!! Do not use the filters. I line it with a freezer bag used for freezing homemade prepared fruits and veggies. Keeps the container clean and just toss the bag when full or smelly.

  28. Hello: I am so excited by the farmhouse look of the compost jar.. after reading your comments regarding the filters.. I don’t think I will even use them.. Previously I was using a tupperware container w/ a lid and worked fine without any sort of filter.. I empty mine every other day into a bokashi bin and then into a compost tote that i have outside.. Seems to be working great. Thanks for your review.

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