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What type of compost bin do you use?


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  • What type of compost bin do you use?

    My grand plans to build some decent compost boxes are not progressing quickly enough so I want to buy something in the interim.

    I would be interested to hear from people that use each type and how well they work. I've outlined my views on each type, please tell me your views.

    Wooden box. Ideal size 3' x 3' Hard to empty unless it has removable front. Needs a lid. May need some insulation. Open to vermin. A 3 foot cube is 760 litres.

    Cones. Circular - no cold spots. Lift off when full. Leaves a cold heap then? Insulated. Advertised as better at keeping heap hot. Is this true? I see them up to 283 litres

    Add-at-top empty-at-bottom. Mostly these are barrel shaped, and have a door to take the finished compost out of the bottom. I'm sceptical that composting always works so evenly that these work as advertised. Also not sure about when there is a glut of material (I would prefer to make a new heap at that point, but I'm speaking with no knowledge).

    Variation has "doors" at various levels to keep the fresh / nearly done separate - e.g. the Earthmaker Composter 466 litres.

    Tumbler. Advertised as speeding up the process (3 weeks even??). Obviously easy to empty. Presumably cannot be huge, as too heavy, the ones I have seen are around 200 litres which is "small" in my book - mind you, 200 litres every 3 weeks sounds fantastic!

    Wormeries I quite fancy one of those for the kitchen waste, but I'm not sure that we would be disciplined enough to balance what we put in it, etc., to make it work well. So I'm more inclined to chuck the stuff on the compost heap (would help if the compost bin was enclosed and vermin-proof though). I don't think that Wormeries deal with left over meat, do they?

    Bokashi bins. Will deal with meat. Some people say that theirs stink! The Bran looks to be about 100 p.a. - that's a lot just to get rid of the things that I could NOT routinely chuck on the compost heap.

    "Tea" from Wormeries and Bokashi could go into the watering can when I water the veg plants, so an added bonus (if not too fiddly to organise!)
    Wooden box
    Top-add bottom-empty
    Other bin type
    Something else
    Last edited by Kristen; 10-07-2008, 12:22 PM.
    K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden

  • #2
    I have been in my house for about 6 months. I inherited a small council dalek bin. It was ful of manky old grass cuttings and no 'brown'. So I painstakingly tipped it all out and added brown and have been turning it... it's now almost ready to use.

    I have since got 2 more big daleks from the council (ours were 9) and have filled one and am working on the next.

    Can't say how they complare to open ones as never had one. But I do like that I can keep a lid on it etc.

    I do think the whole process han be over-complicated and maybe the simple ideas are best? We don't have a lot of cooked food waste here and only one meat-eater so normal bins work ok for us. The chooks get left over pasta and bread and things like that.



    • #3
      4 Pallets on their side, fence posts holding them in place. One at the front has two sticks in front of it to allow me to take away the front panel and turn the compost over.

      Cost: 10 approx for fence paint (used for fence posts round the rest of plot too).
      Last edited by HeyWayne; 10-07-2008, 08:30 AM.
      A simple dude trying to grow veg.

      BLOG UPDATED! 30/01/2012

      Practise makes us a little better, it doesn't make us perfect.

      What would Vedder do?


      • #4
        Mine is completely home made, chestnut poles - two verticaly at each corner and then layers of horizontal poles resting between them. Serves me very well and I build it up as I need to. The "lid" is an opened compost sack with sticks to hold it in place; very rustic!!


        • #5
          Ours was handmade with, just as HW describes, wooden palletts. I see most votes, like my own, are for something else - dont know if you can edit a poll? If so maybe you should add the pallet option too.
          Tammy x x x x
          Fine and Dandy but busy as always

          God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done

          Stay at home Mum (and proud of it) to Bluebelle(8), Bashfull Bill(6) and twincesses Pea & Pod (2)!!!!


          • #6
            Have a wormery, bokashi and 2 wooden bins. All are dead easy and work a treat.

            Am a bit confused though as to why a pallett bin isn't a wooden bin?

            Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

            Which one are you and is it how you want to be?


            • #7
              "dont know if you can edit a poll"

              I tried, but didn't get offered the chance.

              I'm happy to put a summary if folk post an indication of what their "something else" is here.

              But I reckon the Poll option of wooden-box is good enough for "old pallets strapped together" Its close enough compared to plastic daleks!
              K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden


              • #8
                Hi Kristen
                I have a Bokashi bin and now i have made my own wormery. The bokashi is great and produces great plant liquid feed( our veggies and flowers look great), also once the food waste has been in the bokashi for about three weeks then you can add it to the wormery which reduce it down further or just dig it into the garden. I think both these together are ideal if you have a small garden but if you have a big garden with enough room to have a conventional compost heap then do that, to make them you only need 3 or 4 old pallets screwed together and away you go.


                • #9
                  "I think both these together are ideal if you have a small garden but if you have a big garden with enough room to have a conventional compost heap then do that"

                  Good point, I haven't thought of it like that.

                  That's the Christmas present for the in-laws taken care of then!
                  K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden


                  • #10
                    I've got 3 dalek bins and 3 wooden-box-types...

                    I prefer the dalek bins actually, they seem to get hotter quicker and I like that they have a lid on. I struggle to "use" the boxes properly, even though they get the same stuff added, and have layers of cardboard on top as a lid.


                    • #11
                      My council are doing 330L Dalek bins for 20. I think I will get a couple to tide me over until time is released from other projects to make some wooden bins

                      Recycle now - In Your Area
                      K's Garden blog the story of the creation of our garden


                      • #12
                        for the last few years i've just had a heap in the corner of the garden, this year, i got some strong square cage mesh, so i've made a square one where the heap was, seems to be working ok, lined it with black plastic, and have sheets of polystyrene and a waterproof padded mat on top to keep the heat in, though i am going to try the dalek bin when it arrives, so i can keep it with the bins.
                        Last edited by lynda66; 14-07-2008, 03:33 PM.


                        • #13
                          Our compost is a heap in the corner, mainly 'shredded' prunings, plus kitchen veg trimmings. I don't have much chance for real gardening these days since this garden is tiny, and full of shrubs planted by previous owner (Mum-in-law, a lovely lady who died about 10 years ago), so the heap mostly gets left alone, to the advantage of the slowworms who winter in such places (don't know if they use mine, but I suspect they do, I know there are some around) and use the composting warmth to hatch their eggs. Slowworms being such good slug-hunters, I wouldn't want to disturb them (that's my excuse<G>).
                          Flowers come in too many colours to see the world in black-and-white.


                          • #14
                            New place have got one of those cheap from council plastic ones with lid and bottom empty. Not too sure about it and only just starting so don't know yet.
                            My old heap ongoing for 15 years was some breeze blocks piled up as a loose wall on either side against a wall with an old door across the front. No top so it got rain, old compost, all weedings, and all raw veg food waste and coffee , teabags and eggshells.
                            Nothing else. shovelled it about a bit now and again and just tunnelled into it at the bottom when needed.
                            It was fantastic compost and the biggest regret I have is having to leave it behind.
                            I loved that heap.


                            • #15
                              OH built me 2 great wooden boxes, 3'x3', out of the remains of an old shed. We moved them 2 years ago and they nearly survived! This year OH has built 2 new ones with some donated planks, they are so, so smart - front of box lifts out plank by plank, - I'm easily pleased you know!
                              I ran out of Bokashi bran so stuffed one of the bins with Comfrey (no water - doesn't seem to smell as bad) now really easy to tap off the feed for diluting - working incredibly well, may carry on using it like this over the summer!
                              Life is too short for drama & petty things!
                              So laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly!


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