My Compost Bin Upgrade


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New to the forum and figured I would post something to get started.

I just got back into composting a few years back and since I compost nearly everything I can get my hands on, I concluded my compost bin was too small, so I beefed it up a bit, now I can easily get a season out of this without overflowing.

I don't monitor, stir, water or proportion the materials, everything is just dumped in as I come across it.

Everything goes in here, cardboard, paper, kitchen waste, coffee grounds, expired breads, cereals, flours and the like, yard waste, trub, bad beer, yeast, hair clippings, vacuum cleaner collection, rabbit manure and bedding, chinchilla manure and bedding, urea, ash, Bio-Char, pond waste, spent soil from pots, etc...

From time to time, meat, bones, cheese and the like makes its way to the compost bin.

Some cardboard that does not get recycled goes into the fire pit for fire starting, this includes cardboards that have a glossy surface or a glossy type paint on the box.

I don't compost my tomato plants, weeds or sunflowers, these go into the firepit with bones and dog poo that is in the yard at the time.
This is either left to burn to ash or choked out prior to becoming ash to make bio-char. Weeds, I sometimes but very rarely put in a 5 gallon bucket and let it sit out, the weeds dry up, the bucket fills up with rain water then I'll dump this in the compost bin.

Most of the time the rabbit and chinchilla waste goes directly in the raised beds with some bio-char and urea.

My Compost Bin usually works pretty slow but when I added a few gallons of trub, the thing literally took off, I could feel the heat come off of it when I stood next to it and the level dropped 12 inches in a few days, I couldn't believe it.
I think it must have been active yeast in the trub drawing in the Black Soldier Flies.

I reduced my trash by at least one bag per week, have almost "0" garbage go through the garbage disposal and my recycle bin has a lot less cardboard at the curbside.

Compost Bin Upgrade.
 
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alp

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Crikey, a lot of maggots.. What exactly is trub? I used something called organic activator which I think is probably woodlice or their cousins which crawl everywhere once I apply it to various bins. I rely mostly on worms.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Welcome to the forum SQWIB. (y)

I don't own a compost bin at all; over the last week or so I've ended up with a huge pile of garden debris from stumps; roots to branches etc all heaped up to over 6' high. I've thrown in well rotted horse manure as I built the pile.

I haven't a clue if this will compost down but at least it's all now in one place and can remain there all winter; I certainly don't wish to turn this lot over every few days because it will be just more hard graft and I've no problem keeping it wet given our constant rainfall.

Kind regards, Colin.

IMAG0019.JPG
 

alp

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You can easily make a square bin out of pallets, @Colin .. Easier for you to turn the composted materials. Add a bit of brown materials, a bit of vacuum dirt, kitchen waste and cardboard pieces, you are on your way. No need to buy any compost bin.
 
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@Colin,, thank you for the welcome.
If you have the room I would just leave it be and toss on some soil, fall leaves, keep layering the yard waste on top and plant in it next year, Hugel Mound comes to mind.
That is unless you are trying to acquire compost.

I cold compost AKA passive compost, I don't have time to play with a compost bin, I already spend enough time getting the stuff in there.
 
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Crikey, a lot of maggots.. What exactly is trub? I used something called organic activator which I think is probably woodlice or their cousins which crawl everywhere once I apply it to various bins. I rely mostly on worms.
Trub is Brewing waste.

The Black Soldier Fly Larvae were a treat to see, spooked me at first but after seeing what they can do I was amazed. The weather is still fairly warm so I'll be tossing in some meat to see how that works out.

Topped with Biochar, urea, leaves and Rabbit manure last night. I may poke around in it tonight.
I'm pulling my summer veggie plants tomorrow and adding that in with my Potted soil from the aquaponics tomorrow.
I'll also be charring some bones, tomato plants, dog poo, cardboard and food waste with some wood that will be added also.
 
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alp

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Trub is Brewing waste.

The Black Soldier Fly Larvae were a treat to see, spooked me at first but after seeing what they can do I was amazed. The weather is still fairly warm so I'll be tossing in some meat to see how that works out.

Topped with Biochar, urea, leaves and Rabbit manure last night. I may poke around in it tonight.
I'm pulling my summer veggie plants tomorrow and adding that in with my Potted soil from the aquaponics tomorrow.
I'll also be charring some bones, tomato plants, dog poo, cardboard and food waste with some wood that will be added also.
Oh, dear! Please don't do it near a household. I have a fish tray inside my rubbish bag in my lean-to and the stench has been revolting. I'm going to buy a bucket with a lid.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp for the pallet suggestion. (y) A little story about pallets;

I was in charge of the timber department at work and bought pallets by the wagon load and also we made "specials" plus all kinds of wooden packing cases and crates. One major problem was disposing of lots of broken pallets so whenever possible I would give them away. I was also in charge of Home Trade Despatch having a big fleet of vehicles at my disposal and many times I would authorize a guy to borrow a pick up or the 7 tonner flat wagon. One of my team members lived in Barnsley which he fondly referred to as Beirut it being so rough; his retired neighbour kindly cut free firewood for other neighbours so broken pallets were gratefully received and I would send a pick up full at a time; one day I was asked for more pallets and I suggested a wagon load which was cheerfully accepted; a phone call to "transport" and I had a 40' curtain sided trailer in the yard which was fully loaded and delivered that evening; the following morning I was informed this huge 38 ton tractor and 40' trailer caused quite a bit of a stir; all the neighbours were out to unload it filling three entire front gardens of the council houses; I asked if the pallets were going to be used as double glazing. ;)

How annoying now that I would like a few broken pallets I'll have to put myself out to obtain them but such is life.

Thanks SQWIB; yes I have the space and the big pile of garden debris is hidden from view so I'll see what happens to it over winter; ideally I'd like it to compost down but I'll have to wait and see; I'm too busy creating more debris; I'm now digging up another two tree stumps and wonder if I'll ever get on top of all this hard grafting; an hours digging this afternoon exposed four thick roots which are now severed but I'd had enough so tomorrow I'll have another go; I would like full loads of wood chips and normally tree surgeons are at our door wanting to do work for us but suddenly tree surgeons are an endangered species? :(

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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MaryMary

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Welcome to the forum, SQWIB!! :)


The Black Soldier Fly Larvae were a treat to see,
Yes they were, and thank you for posting the video! (y) I've read about them, and seen pictures, but never actually seen them at work - :eek: they really get the pile to heaving, don't they?!!



How annoying now that I would like a few broken pallets I'll have to put myself out to obtain them but such is life.
Maybe it would be a good time to visit your old work place? o_O Just to say Hi, see how everyone is doing...maybe take a few broken pallets off their hands...? :sneaky:
 

Colin

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Hi,

Welcome to the forum, SQWIB!! :)

Maybe it would be a good time to visit your old work place? o_O Just to say Hi, see how everyone is doing...maybe take a few broken pallets off their hands...? :sneaky:
Thanks MaryMary for your welcome suggestion. I could easily visit my old workplace but I'll never visit it again after the highly stressful 24 years I spent on site there. As I walked down the works yard for the last time I felt a huge weight had been removed from my shoulders and I knew I would never be going back. :)

I have contacts though with pallet companies so it's not a problem to obtain broken pallets the problem is our dire weather preventing me going outside in peace; it's blowing a gale; raining and a black hole as I type which is normal for us. Later today I want to go up the rear garden to cut up a huge tree branch which made its way to earth; I had "topped" the tree a few years ago and thought all the branches were cleared but missed this big one which has fallen like a spear; at first glance I thought where's that new tree come from because it looked as though it was rooted. The high wind had finally brought it down the wind also brought down one of the willow tree trunks which I've already disposed of; pity I didn't know about this branch whilst I had the chainsaw out. I've given up trying to plan my days; I now get out of bed every morning to see what the world has thrown at me? The weather here living so near The Pennines is unpredictable; I've worked outside on an absolutely beautiful English Summer's day painting the bungalow exterior totally at peace then as the last brushful of gloss had been applied there was a sudden cloudburst; many years ago a weather forecaster called Bob Rust forecast a beautiful sunny dry day; I set to and glossed our double garage door and sure enough as the last brushful of paint went on down came the heavy cloudburst; there's no relaxing here at all and I'll need to put my water/windproof clothing on today just to cut the branch up. I hope this isn't a moan but it's just a way of life living here on the valley side.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Colin,

Just a thought, but some thinwall pvc pipe with holes or flexible french drain pipe would allow oxygen into the bottom of the pile a little better and might speed things along. I use 3 pvc 6 inch (7.5-8cm) pipes that I drilled holes in, but I do not always use them when the piles are fresh and open like yours, but as it gets finer the idea may serve you.
 

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