What to put in a compost tumbler
What to put in a compost tumbler?
Kitchen waste, coffee grounds, soft plant trimmings, raked leaves, grass clippings, and shredded (and unbleached) paper products are the best ingredients for a tumbler.
What not to put in a compost tumbler?
Certain tumblers are not designed to break down grains, beans, cooked food, fats, oils, or animal products. Others are capable of successfully degrading a large number of these materials. To maximize your chances of success, follow the instructions provided by your chosen tumbler.
A dual-batch compost tumbler is what it sounds like.
A dual batch composter is a two-chamber compost tumbler. Fill one, then continue with the second while the first rots. Presto! You will never be without a location to dispose of your food waste.
What are the primary drawbacks to using a compost tumbler?
Because compost tumblers are sealed units, very little evaporation occurs during the decomposition of your scraps. This means they can become clogged with water if they are overloaded with food waste and not enough absorbent material.
The simplest solution is to fill your tumbler with sawdust, dry leaves, shredded paper, or coconut coir. These materials will assist in absorbing moisture and balancing the carbon to nitrogen ratio in your compost.
How to Select the Appropriate Composter
Are compost tumblers a good investment?
Certainly, we believe so. Compost tumblers are hygienic, convenient, and vermin-proof. They are both tidy and effective due to their compact design. And for gardeners, the finished compost is worth its weight in gold.
How to Start a Compost Tumbler
How to Start a Compost Tumbler- 6 Different ways to compost video
Things You Must Consider When Buying Compost Tumblers
If you are environmentally minded, you ought to compost.
Composting is a pain-free way of minimizing the quantity of waste sent out to garbage dumps. It also results in a nutrient-abundant soil change you can add anywhere in your garden, showing that you can get treasure from your trash.
When buying a compost tumbler there are a couple of things to bear in mind.
1. Bigger isn’t always better.
The majority of people believe that larger is better and so they get the biggest tumbler around.
While this may suit your needs, bear in mind that the larger the bin, the much heavier it is and the more difficult it will be to turn.
2. Doors must open easily.
Some tumblers have doors that screw onto the body of the composter.
These are troublesome and in time frequently get blocked with dirt and debris.
3. Consider how you will be eliminating the ended-up compost.
Some composters are low to the ground, while some are greater.
If you plan on disposing of your compost into a wheelbarrow it will be easier if the composter is greater off the ground.
If you are intending on using a shovel to eliminate your compost, you might wish to consider a composter that is lower to the ground.
Compost bins are a must-have in many suburban and metropolitan environments.
The majority of towns have policies against open compost heaps as these can draw in rats and other bugs, in addition to establishing an odor that can be offensive to your neighbors.
Compost tumblers provide a stylish solution to this problem. They are typically odor totally free, cool, and inconspicuous.
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How To Select The Most Appropriate Compost Bin
Composting for free (zero pounds/dollars) is as simple as piling your garden and food waste in a corner. How do you choose between paying 20, 60, 140, or even 900 pounds for a compost bin? By convincing yourself of the ‘value,’ you ‘justify’ the cash. We demonstrate how to do this by ensuring that the composting features meet your needs at an affordable price.
That sounds like a lot of work – why not simply go online and search for the best 5-star rating and lowest price – job is done. Almost all online reviews appear to be this way “arrived/did not arrive on time (score 1-5), set up was simple/difficult (score 1-5). I’d inform you if it worked! The critical component is missing – few returns after 12 months to report on how well it worked.
The process of selecting the ‘right compost bin’ or ‘best compost bin’ for you can be summarized in seven steps:
Step 1 – DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE –
Step 2- WHERE – determine the size and location of the bin.
Step 3 – WHAT & WHEN – calculate the amount of garden and food waste you generate.
Step 4 – EFFORT – the amount of time and effort that you are prepared to invest
Step 5 – HOW – which method (e.g. hot, cold, digesters, or vermicomposting) and which bin characteristics are required and desirable (e.g. low odor, no rats, no flies, handles all food waste, kills pathogens, kills weed seeds)?
Step 6 – CHECK – compile a list of features
Step 7 – COMPARE – which compost bin offers the best value for money
Before we continue, let’s take a moment to appreciate your time and effort in reading this article. While some may have the time and interest in composting to thoroughly research the subject, many will want a ‘fast track’ to assist them in making a quick decision with a degree of confidence that they are selecting one that will work.
The expedited route
Between the vendor’s marketing hype (that is the polite term! ), read between the lines.
Consult with users. Ignore the ‘arrived on time/did not arrive on time and ‘easy/difficult to assemble’ statements. Look for reviews that include the phrase “It works, it does what it says, and I get great compost quickly. It’s well worth the money, and the best compost bin I’ve used in 20 years.
Verify vendor assurances (eg compost in 7-days). Investigate the claim with a detailed scientific study conducted by a reputable independent organization. If nothing else, walk away.
Examine the vendor’s capability – do they provide in-depth hands-on composting advice or simply regurgitate the ‘list of things to compost’ that applies only to ‘cold’ composting? Seek advice that explains the difference between hot and cold composting, the time required in each situation, and why the process is different when hot composting.
Look for vendors who are knowledgeable about composting science and engineering. Composting adheres to natural laws such as heat loss and cooling, as well as the rates and speeds of biochemical reactions. You do not need to be an expert in composting science or engineering – but I believe your compost bin vendor should be.
For those interested in delving deeper, here is a little more information on the seven steps to help you choose a compost bin.
Step 1 – Determine your composting objectives
Do you want to make a large amount of rich/excellent compost for your garden, which will improve its fertility and allow you to use less fertiliser and possibly even peat?
Do you simply wish to maintain a tidy garden?
Do you want to contribute more positively to the environment by recycling all of your food waste so that your local council is no longer required to collect and transport it to a landfill or a central AD/IVC reprocessing plant?
Are you simply tired of allocating an increasing portion of your flower or vegetable garden to overflowing compost bins that never seem to produce anything?
What are your sustainability, organic gardening, and resource conservation goals?
Step 2 – Determine the size and location of the compost bin.
Certain compost bins require a specific location (e.g., a sunny spot or, conversely, ‘keep in the shade’), ‘use only on soil’, or ‘do not use on clay soil’. You may have limited options (eg it needs to go on the concrete by the garage). Your site may impose restrictions on the type of compost bin you can use.
You may have a small garden with no space for a large compost bin; on the other hand, you may have a large garden with plenty of space for a traditional three-bay New Zealand compost bin system.
Do you want to keep the compost bin close to the kitchen so you can easily empty your food caddy in the rain?
Step 3 – Conduct an audit of the amount of garden and food waste you generate.
Are you going to compost only summer/autumn garden waste?
Are you interested in composting grass cuttings? (spring, summer, autumn)
Do you wish to compost food waste that is generated throughout the year, i.e. compost through the winter?
How much waste do you have of each type? In my experience, very few garden composters or food waste recyclers accurately track the amount of waste they produce in liters (or kilograms). Fewer still wish to record and quantify it. Choosing the appropriate compost bin size is complicated further by the fact that compost bins can produce ‘hot compost’ under the right conditions. Hot composting is 32 times faster than cold composting in a competitor bin. Thus, 20 liters of waste per week in one bin would degrade rapidly within a week but would accumulate over time and require a 600-liter bin in another.
Step 4 – Decide whether you want to compost in a ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ environment.
The primary advantages of ‘hot’ composting over ‘cold’ composting are as follows:
Composting at a high temperature will destroy weed seeds, saving you time and effort in the future.
Composting at a high temperature eliminates dangerous bacteria; you can compost any type of food waste.
Hot composting requires significantly less space than cold composting to compost the same amount of waste.
Composting in the heat requires significantly less time (eg 30 days Vs 360 days)
Composting in the heat is effective year-round (cold heaps stop in winter below 5C)
Step 5 – Determine the amount of time and effort you are willing to devote to composting.
This is difficult – everyone usually responds with ‘none / minimal’. The more a vendor understands that this is critical to your choice, the more pressure there is to use the term ‘easy,’ which results in a larger potential expectation gap and an increased likelihood of user disappointment. The effort is always required (eg collecting food, turning, mixing, shredding). It is, in our experience, simpler when simple steps are followed. Investing time in developing habits is difficult – especially at first when people perceive the habits to be time-consuming rather than time-saving.
Thus, you now have a clear idea of what you desire. Following that, how do you assess and align the compost bin with your composting goals?
Step 6 – Create a list of compost bin features
Create a feature list, locate the top ten commercial bins, score each feature, eliminate compost bins that do not meet your requirements, and then weight/score the remaining compost bins to find the best match.
Step 7 – Determine which compost bin offers the best value for money.
Calculate the overall value for money of each compost bin by comparing each feature – the million-dollar question!
Commercial product managers perform this type of work on a daily basis – but very few composters, gardeners, or food waste recyclers likely have the time or inclination to do so. To access our ‘compost bin competitive evaluation sheet,’ click here. You’ll find an analysis of 12 popular compost bin types and brands. You can experiment with the scores and weighting to determine which is the best.
As I mentioned in the introduction, you can compost for free (zero pounds) by simply piling things into an open heap. To justify the cash outlay, you must generate ‘value,’ which you do by ensuring that the compost bin features meet your composting objectives at an affordable price.
We hope that the tips above, in conjunction with the tools available through the links below, will assist you in determining which compost is best for you.