CompoKeeper is an in-home bin designed to take the yuck out of composting and make it easier to accommodate in everyday living. Kristen and Van Hess’ vision for an in-home composting bin needed to factor in proximity to wall, residual smell, ease of removal, and secure storing of compost contents.

Study Highlights

Design for manufacture; Added feature development; Support for Kickstarter campaign


The Hess duo had already proven the concept: a compost bin that you could open with pedals and discard your food waste into without every needing to touch the mess. They also knew that smell and security from pets or children were also critical factors in whether people would keep compost in the home. Their initial prototypes, both produced in their backyard and by another engineering firm, weren’t meeting expectations, and they came to BES to improve on their design.


Our team worked with Kristen and Van to update the CompoKeeper’s clamping mechanism and improve design aesthetics. We were also able to incorporate a feature (easy transition between a foot pedal floor model and a handle-operated cabinet version) that was originally planned as a separate product. BES then optimized the entire system for manufacturability, incorporating snap fits and minimizing metal components wherever possible to reduce production tooling, materials, and assembly costs. As the design neared production, BES created renderings that assisted Kristen and Van in securing production funding.


The CompoKeeper is a fantastic product that can be found in local and national stores across America! The bin makes storing and disposing of compost easier than other products on the market. It can even be used to hold baby or pet waste without the odor giving away the contents. After BES took over design, 1908 Brands (previously National ECO Wholesale) contracted the CompoKeeper brand and continues to market the CompoKeeper across the country.