email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Compost Tumbler

There may be a hope for the compost tumbler after all.  I had really criticized it HERE

At first, I mainly used it to keep rich tempting kitchen scraps from the groundhogs and other critters.  I could never get it to heat up enough to really compost stuff quickly.  But I may have figured it out.

But to back up a bit...  In past years, I would look at the barrels of produce waste in the grocery stores and wish I could get them.  My requests were always refused.  But I am persistent.  This year, the store managers suddenly say "yes".  I have gotten 6 bags of corn husks and other unwanted produce debris.

I finally have enough stuff to fill the compost tumbler bin.  You would be surprised how compact a whole trash can of corn husks gets in just a week.  But then it was all green stuff and that doesn't make a good compost blend for aerobic breakdown...

Well, I get a daily newspaper (which uses safe soy ink) and I have a paper shredder.  Aha!  Nice "brown" stuff to add to balance the decomposition.

In the past 2 weeks, I have added about as much dry shredded newspaper to the bin as green material.  I've made it a point to turn the bin several times each day.  It's heavier to move, but not unmanageable.  I can tell the balance is better and that the materials are getting mixed well.  It doesn't smell bad.

I know all about anaerobic vs aerobic breakdowns, so I know it is finally working right.  Best of all, it was HOT inside (140F) when I opened it today.

I finally got enough stuff inside, and the right mixture...

Yay!!!

I still think a regular compost bin is far superior, but I have to give SOME credit to these rotating things.  With a lot of care, they can work "OK".

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