This lightweight, portable composter is a good choice for people who don’t have a lot of room. The Back Porch ComposTumbler is 37 inches high x 31 inches wide x 26 inches deep and stands on a frame that rests on 6 inch wheels. It holds 37 gallons of compost material, and 4 inside mixing fins help break up large pieces of compost. The combination of an aerator/drainage unit on the bottom of the composter and screened side vents makes sure your compost gets the proper amount of oxygen while preventing animals from getting into it. 5 year manufacturer warranty.
Works for us! ~ reviewed by L. Burton
We’ve had one of these for about a year and purchased it after a lot of research. By and large, it’s been a great purchase. I think it probably works better than most other products on the market. The compost is fast, we can keep composting far further into the winter than we would be able to otherwise and it’s held up pretty well. We have noticed that the screen that helps drain the composter needs to be kept clear and may need regular cleaning to make sure nothing gets too soupy. One other minor annoyance is that the lid doesn’t stay open well without holding it, so getting things in and out of it can be a hassle.
In regards to the other review complaining that the composter doesn’t work when filled only with greens, it’s a composter, not magic. You do have to know something about composting and create a balance of greens and browns to make it work most effectively. That’s not a product defect. It’s like buying a skillet and complaining that it burns your eggs because you didn’t know you needed to grease it before putting the eggs in.
Good product ~ reviewed by LC Collins
I was concerned about the assembly, based on others’ reviews, but it was very easy until the final moment–one of the sides did not have the hole drilled out, so I couldn’t insert the screw that holds it onto the stand. Fortunately I own a power drill, so I was able to remedy this, but it did add some time to the process (this is the only reason it got 4 stars instead of 5).
Now that it’s put together I’m very happy with it. It’s sturdy and just the right size for two people. I really like that it’s off the ground, as our last composter did not have a bottom, and some small animal excavated underneath it every night–flinging lots of rotting food for our dog to eat!
Exactly what I wanted ~ reviewed by Havasu Kat
This composter is the perfect size for a back porch (hence, it’s name) or, in my case, for my courtyard. It fits in a corner and is easy to open, fill, and spin. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to compost leftover kitchen veggies/fruits and the occasional bunch of leaves.
Compost In Three Weeks! ~ reviewed by khinca
Simple design but strongly recommend you read and understand all instructions before starting assembly. Any mistake will affect the success of your compost, which requires the airflow, drainage, tumbling, and door removal design elements all to work together. I have owned other composters in the past which only resulted in aggravation and rats, not compost. So I was ecstatic when my first batch of compost was ready in three weeks (I did add two cups of compost starter initially). Having the composter sit off the ground, allow easy spinning, and wheeled relocation in the garden make all the difference. What a joy to use our discards for putting nutrients back into our organic garden and food.
Ignore the Negative Reviews! This One’s A Keeper!! ~ reviewed by Rev. Dr. Helen R. Betenbaugh
For a year I owned an Urban Composter which I’m selling for 2 reasons: it takes too long (at least 2 summers, if not 3) for a single person to fill it; it’s too heavy for any one person other than a tall, VERY strong man, to turn as required. It did make great mulch. After reading a ton of reviews I ordered this one, quite fearful of what the assembly process might take, given the list of complaints. It went together in no time! The directions are clear, as are the illustrations. Only problem was that I needed someone to tap in the final end cap to hold the 2nd wheel in place while I pressed down to raise the bitsy bit of rod that was available high enough to hold it – if that convoluted sentence makes sense! It fit together well, though I could never have done it without a power drill with screwdriver bit and a good bit of pressure/force. I’d loaned my wrench set, so used a pair of pliers to hold the drum bolt in place and another to turn the nut inside the drum. Re: loading and unloading – the directions are clear – remove the darn door! From my experience, the negative comments were not at all valid. This is a neat, compact, well-engineered little treasure that I look forward to using to make great compost for my organic garden.
Cheap hardware … makes it non functional ~ reviewed by J. B. Wight
I echo a previous reviewer who found the cheap latches a problem. Ditto for the door construction. Mine broke after a few months use. As it is a plastic piece, once it broke it was gone. I had to drill into plastic and add a metal screw which is a poor solution but all I’ve got to hold the door in place (sort of). The latch doesn’t hold well, meaning it’s got to have a strap around it. This is a very light use appliance, which if you use it very little, may give you satisfaction.
Contrary to Some Reviews, ComposTumbler Very Easy to Assemble ~ reviewed by Daniel R. Merrick
Since I’m sure there are fellow Amazon gardeners who believe, like me, that Murphy’s Law applies to them when it comes to new product assembly, this review responds to the negative comments about the difficulty of assembly. I have very low “spatial intelligence, but I just assembled the Back Porch ComposTumbler this afternoon with extreme ease. I have yet to use it for more than its first load of compost material, so this review does not comment on the composter’s merits or shortcomings in that respect. Besides my general tendency not to give all possible stars to anything, the fact that I haven’t used it over a period of time is the main reason I’m giving it four versus five stars for comparable products.
After reading some of the reviews that cited either 1) the overall difficulty of assembly, 2) the need for extra parts or tools or 3) left-over parts after assembly, I thought twice about buying what’s variously called the Back Porch, Urban or simply the 5-cubic-ft. ComposTumbler on different websites I researched. After asking the manufacturer’s rep a few questions via the telephone # on the ComposTumbler site, I did end up buying what seemed to be 1) an economical (none cheaper of any quality and Amazon’s price was the lowest at the time …plus free shipping since I have Amazon Prime), 2) thoughtfully designed (the only decent composter with wheels) and 3) space-efficient (fits next to the garbage cans) tumbling composter that’ll help me meet my Mother’s Day deadline for fresh compost. There are undoubtedly better, bigger tumblers at twice the price or more, but isn’t that always the case in general?
Based on the negative comments about assembly, I feared this afternoon’s assembly project all week. I can only say, however, that I’ve rarely assembled a product with such ease. I don’t usually write reviews, but I really can’t understand how people had any difficulty with this particular assembly. The directions show pictures of the parts and it took two minutes to group them by their #. For each step, they spelled out absolutely everything that needed to be done in clear language and pictures (which I’m sure most will agree is a relatively rare occurrence when it comes to assembly). They assumed nothing (thank you!) but didn’t have more text than needed.
They specified the need for two wrenches, a Phillips screwdriver, a hammer and a regular flat-head screwdriver. I don’t know why you need the flathead and the hammer could be replaced by anything solid (e.g. a shoe heel) that can give a couple of taps. I have a power screwdriver, but I didn’t even see the need to use it (some of the other reviewers said it was necessary to have one, but that too mystifies me). Nothing is supposed to be tightened beyond what’s relatively easy for anyone that actually uses a screwdriver now and then instead of calling the handyman.
A good indication of the simplicity of the assembly is that my son asked me four or five times at various stages if I needed an extra hand (normally a welcome addition to other assemblies that seem made for three, four or five hands), but I honestly couldn’t think of anything for him to do until the very end. Since he was there, it helped to have him hold the ends of the last two bolts with one of the wrenches while I tightened two locking nuts on the inside of the drum, but I definitely could have done that myself.
If I’d really been focused, I could have completed the assembly in the 15 minutes one reviewer reported, but I read all the directions first and proceeded quite deliberately at first because I expected to encounter the problems in assembly that a few reported (as noted, if there can be a problem, I have it every time!). The entire assembly, including rolling it into place (why don’t any other composters have wheels?) took about 30 minutes.
The bottom line is that ease of assembly should be a definite plus for this product, not a negative. I am very puzzled by those who reported difficulty. It really seems that either they didn’t read the directions or they are describing another product mistakenly. Considering such helpful things as the labels on each part of the drum, the low number of different parts, the clearly evident holes and the dead-simple directions with pictures, I actually find it hard to believe you could have a problem unless you did it blindfolded. Other comments about the durability of the plastic and the other parts don’t make sense either, but I just wanted to tell the fellow spatially challenged among you not to worry about that aspect of the Back Porch ComposTumbler. Happy spring!
Should be 5 star! ~ reviewed by Peter A. Pietranek
This composter is my first. It is nice. Very mobile. The locking clasp must have been changed as I read reviews that complained about it. I have no problems with it.
The reason I did not give it 5 stars is that the instructions are a little vague and the seams on the drum are not real tight. If you throw saw dust in the bin, you do get some leakage.
A huge plus was the customer support I got from the manufacture. Being that I had a little problem with the instructions, I had to take apart the frame because I had it wrong. In doing so, I ruined the end cap that holds the wheel in place. One email to the manufacturer and they responded within a day and sent me a new one at no charge. That, my friends, is customer support.
That being said, I love it!
Peter in Chicago.
Great composter ~ reviewed by Lance A. Featherngill
This composter was really easy to assemble and fits great in any back yard. The ONLY thing that may be a shortcoming is that it might be a little small for anyone with a fairly large yard/garden that they eant to product compost for. I would recommend this seller as well, as they did a GREAT job of shipping the item quickly – even over the Christmas season we got it in less than 10 days!
Compact and easy to use ~ reviewed by A. Adams
This composter arrived promptly and was easily assembled (less than 15 minutes). It has been easy to use, and the portability is a real plus. I can move it around the patio without any assistance. It is very easy to spin. It is a good size for our 2-person household. The only downside is that when I am finishing the compost, I am unable to add anything to it. The compost can take more than a couple of weeks to finish, so we have 2 composters (this one and an Acrobat Compost Tumbler). We can fill one while the other one “cooks”.