I used to collect my compost in a brown paper bag in the freezer. This was great for controlling the smell, but less great in terms of having useable freezer space. And if I produced a lot of scraps that week, the bag might not fit very well.
Enter the countertop compost bin. I found it on sale at TJ Maxx when I was home at Christmas, and got it at an even lower price because someone had stolen the charcoal filters that are supposed to come with it. I found some cheap filters on Amazon, and set myself up a few weeks ago:
Although my goal was to stop using a brown paper bag for my compost every week, it turns out that composting in a pail still requires some extra paper. Because I'm only taking the compost out every week or two, I have to line the bin with paper. I use about 1/3 of a brown paper back, torn up. Newspaper would work too.
The only problem I've had so far was when I threw a couple of moldy items in, and then wasn't able to take the compost out for 2 weeks. Everything got moldy, and the smell permeated the filter a little bit, and when I finally got to the Greenmarket, there was a fair amount of liquid in the bottom. The compost guy told me it's not a harmful kind of mold, but it was just a little gross. The label on the pail said only to wipe it out with a damp rag, but it got washed with dish soap that day.