I just got an Earth Machine from the City Composting Program in Flagstaff. It's a lot more attractive and organized than what I've been using - a compost heap! It's about 4 feet tall and has a lid for adding compostables, a door on the side for removing the composted product, and screws right into the ground (too keep out critters).
So far I cannot report on how well the product works, but I am excited to give it a go. Since it's black, it should absorb planty of heat to make it 'cook'. I have been adding plant scraps (yellowed leaves that I remove from houseplants), food wastes, dog hair (when I brush my dogs, I make a pile!), human hair from my hair brush, my used guinea pig cage bedding, used tissues, brown papers bags, shredded newspaper and other paper products, used coffee grounds and filters...this is great! I hate, hate, hate throwing away anything, and try to recycle everything in every way possible. Food wastes are a shame to simply chuck, since they contain valuable earth nutrients that will never return to the air or soil when compacted in a landfill.
I expect that with weekly compost turnings, I will have some wonderful black gold to add to my growing garden in a month or two. Much faster than the year it takes for a simple compost PILE! :)
This is all part of my continuing goal to not throws things away! My community has curbside recycling from everything except glass (which I have to drive to it's own collection agency), so I am lucky there. Our trash bin never really gets full - we could easily go a month without pickup, especially now that I am training my husband to not throw away food wastes. This is a great money saver!
Note: Just FYI, you should not throw meat or dairy products into your bin! This will attract animal pests (or your own dogs) who will be desperate to get to the goodies..and also, these items STINK when they rot.
I like this book, as it's written simply and offers realistic, helpful composting advice:
Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings