Skip to content
Home > Organics > Discount Compost Bins
Earth Machine Picture

County Composting Bins

The County of Santa Barbara offers discounted Earth Machine composting bins to help residents start their home composting efforts. If you would like to pick up one of these bins, check the location information below.

Composting Video 2016

Click here to watch our one-minute composting video!

While you don't need a composting bin to compost, many people prefer to contain their compost in one. The County offers the Earth Machine backyard composting bin for only $55, which is more than half off the retail price.

The bins are available to Santa Barbara County residents only. Payment can be made by cash, local check, or credit card.

Pick-Up Instructions:

  • Upon arrival at one of the County's transfer stations, please drive up to the scale house and wait to be rung up by the attendant; if there's a line, please continue to wait and do not walk up to the scale house. A list of locations that sell Earth Machines is located at the bottom of this page.
  • Please wear a mask while purchasing and picking up your bin.
  • Check the bin's disassembled dimensions ahead of time to make sure that the pieces will fit in your vehicle (please see the dimensions below).

Please note that the County now accepts VISA or Mastercard for payments at County Transfer Stations. Please also note that if picking up from the North County Public Works Office only exact cash or check made out to "County of SB/RRWM” is accepted. See the composting flyer below for more details. 

Download our composting flyer here:

Compost Flyer 2023

What is the Earth Machine?

The Earth Machine is an aerobic composting bin. It is a great container to begin composting at home, but keep in mind that it's not a self turning or tumbling style bin. And though worms are welcome in an Earth Machine, it's not an actual worm bin. It does have the following features and benefits:

  • Snaps together with no tools required
  • Round to allow turning the compost from any direction
  • Sliding door is lockable to prevent animal entry
  • Ground screw to attach container to the ground for wind and animal protection
  • Ventilation slots let in air and keep out animals
  • Twist top for vent control
  • Black color retains heat
  • Durable and lightweight plastic

How big is it?

Here are the full specs:

  • Material: ultraviolet resistant recycled polyethylene plastic
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Holds: 10 cubic feet or 80 gallons
  • Assembled: 33" high and 34" wide
  • Unassembled (to fit in your car): 18" high x 34" wide
  • Six Pieces: lid, body piece #1, body piece #2, door*, four ground screws*, instruction booklet* (*packaged together).
  • Feedstock: garden and kitchen waste
  • Warranty: 10 years

How do I put it together?

There are excellent directions on assembling your Earth Machine on the Earth Machine website.

Is there a bigger picture?


Big Earth Machine Picture

Happy Customers

"We actually bought altogether three 'Earth Machines', and we LOVE the result. We are a household of four. Our landfill trash has been reduced to one (!) plastic bag per week, and we are pretty happy about that. (We put our recycling bin to good use, though.) Thank you for offering this landfill-alternative to the community!" - Elisabeth

I live in New Cuyama. Is there a way for me to purchase and pick up a discount compost bin nearby?

Yes! You can pick up an Earth Machine compost bin from the New Cuyama Transfer Station. However, purchases for discount compost bins at this location must be made in advance online at The only online payment method accepted is credit card. Once your online payment is processed, you may pick up your compost bin order at the New Cuyama Transfer Station during normal business hours. Please allow at least 48 hours for payment processing before picking up your order. Check out these detailed instructions in English and Spanish on how to use the payment portal to purchase a discount compost bin for pickup at the New Cuyama Transfer Station.

Please note this online payment portal is for discount compost bin orders available for pickup at the New Cuyama Transfer Station ONLY. It is not necessary to purchase discount compost bins in advance for any of our other pickup locations.

Is there anywhere else to purchase Earth Machines?

While all County and City residents are welcome to purchase the Earth Machine, the City of Lompoc also has a discounted sale for City residents only. Please visit the City's website for more info.

What about other composting bins?

You can find out more about where you can purchase other aerobic composting bins on our Retail Compost Bin page. If you're interested in worm composting and buying a worm bin, you can check out our Vermicomposting page. You can also check out how to build your own composting bin in the booklet listed on our Home Composting page.

Where to go

Related Materials

Related Articles