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Aha! Design: A Compost Bin Built Into the Kitchen Counter

My parents live in Northern California. As do my brother and his family. My husband went to college in southern California. And I spent a couple years in the Golden State as well—a year in San Francisco and a year in Santa Barbara. All of which is to say, even though I’ve lived on the East Coast for the better part of two decades, California feels like my spiritual home. One of the many things I love about that state is its unapologetic commitment to environmentalism. People don’t just talk about being green there; they walk the talk. They change their lifestyles and alter their homes and enact legislation in order to be gentler and kinder to our planet.

Recently, I noticed a great-looking built-in compost bin featured in an old home tour on Remodelista. The house was in, you guessed it, California. After digging around our archives, I found a few more built-in solutions—almost all of them in California kitchens—that make composting a seamless and easy task. Have a look.

In Sonoma

A large central island in the Sebastopol kitchen of winemaker Stephen Singer and his partner Michel Boynton, proprietors of Baker Lane Vineyards, features a butcher block countertop and integrated sink and compost pail. Photograph by Daniel Dent for Remodelista, from Kitchen of the Week: Part Tasting Room, Part Home Kitchen at Baker Lane Vineyards in Sonoma.
Above: A large central island in the Sebastopol kitchen of winemaker Stephen Singer and his partner Michel Boynton, proprietors of Baker Lane Vineyards, features a butcher block countertop and integrated sink and compost pail. Photograph by Daniel Dent for Remodelista, from Kitchen of the Week: Part Tasting Room, Part Home Kitchen at Baker Lane Vineyards in Sonoma.
Food waste can go directly from the countertop cutting board into the pail. Photograph by Daniel Dent for Remodelista.
Above: Food waste can go directly from the countertop cutting board into the pail. Photograph by Daniel Dent for Remodelista.

Also in Sonoma

The custom concrete countertop in Scribe Winery’s hacienda kitchen includes a cutout hole for food scraps. Photograph by Andres Gonzalez for Remodelista, from Kitchen of the Week: A Hacienda Kitchen in Sonoma’s Hippest Winery.
Above: The custom concrete countertop in Scribe Winery’s hacienda kitchen includes a cutout hole for food scraps. Photograph by Andres Gonzalez for Remodelista, from Kitchen of the Week: A Hacienda Kitchen in Sonoma’s Hippest Winery.
Scribe Winery in Napa Valley Photography by Andres Gonzalez for Remodelista
Above: Composting is an important part of Scribe’s food and farm program. Photograph by Andres Gonzalez for Remodelista.
Scribe Winery in Napa Valley Photography by Andres Gonzalez for Remodelista
Above: The compost chute leads to a large pail just under the counter, behind a cabinet door. Photograph by Andres Gonzalez for Remodelista.

In Berkeley

Authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman’s kitchen island is half Carrara marble, half bamboo. Chabon designed the inset circular cutout for easy composting. Photograph by Aya Brackett for Remodelista, from The Mysteries of Berkeley: A Literary Couple at Home.
Above: Authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman’s kitchen island is half Carrara marble, half bamboo. Chabon designed the inset circular cutout for easy composting. Photograph by Aya Brackett for Remodelista, from The Mysteries of Berkeley: A Literary Couple at Home.

In Brooklyn

Lauren Snyder and Keith Burns Brownstone in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Photo Jonathan Hokklo
Above: Yes, an example not from California! This one, an in-counter compost bin inset into a marble top, is from the Brooklyn home of Keith Burns and Lauren Snyder, owner of one of our favorite shops Primary Essentials. Photograph by Jonathan Hökklo, courtesy of Lauren Snyder and Keith Burns, from In Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, a Renovated Brownstone with Inspired Solutions.

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