Homemade compost bins.

@taface412 (3177)
United States
August 9, 2009 4:46pm CST
well today while I was outside cleaning up the yard and sorting through junk...I came across some plastic garabge bins without the wheels on them. So they are useless for there actual purpose. And I had an idea as I was searching online for compost bin directions...originally I was going to use a plastic 55 gallon drum so I can make a contraption to turn it...blah blah. Well I came across one site tht suggested using a trash can, poke holes all over it, make sure there is a lid and just turn it once or twice a week. I am all about reusing things that are just lying around and I want to make my garden very organic next year. So here is my quesiton for homemade compost. Do I have to use it right away when it is ready or can I just keep adding things and turning it like usual? Is there any drawbacks to composting in the winter or does it matter seasonally? Thanks in advance.
1 person likes this
5 responses
• India
10 Aug 09
I had a bad experience of composting bins. I don't know why but there had been so much of the foul smell in them that I couldn't keep those and had to throw away along with the materials. Those smelled so much that the whole premises were affected.
• United States
10 Aug 09
A foul smell means you aren't adding the right materials to the compost.
@taface412 (3177)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Yeah I have heard that the compost bins need to stay away from the house due to the smell. Another reason why I like my small, portable one. Thanks for responding.
• United States
9 Aug 09
I was going to post a question about homemade compost, too. I know nothing about how to get started on it. I was thinking about it as I was peeling an orange. I also have plasticware made out of potatoes that biodegrades. Is that the kind of stuff you can use in compost? How exactly do you make it? And, then, of course, what are the directions for use?
• United States
9 Aug 09
These links will help ya get started in composting.. http://vegweb.com/composting/ www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/HomeCompost www.howtocompost.org/info/info_composting.asp This is what came up in a search for composting. http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=composting&ei=utf-8&fr=b1ie7 Composting is so darn easy once you get the hang of it.
@taface412 (3177)
• United States
10 Aug 09
ladybugmagic, I was intimated at first when I wanted to make one and I still want to make a more professional looking one out of my pastic 55 gallon drum, but here is what I did with my small rubbermaid 30 gallon trash can that is missing wheels LOL 1. Get a plastic trash can with a lid. 2. Drill some holes in the side, top and bottom for ventilation. My father suggested me to do them about six inches apart in width going around the trash can and a couple of inches apart going down the trash can. 3. Make sure your lid tightly fits it, I had to use a bungee cord to make sure mine was on tight because it is an old trash can. 4. Then just fill it up with all veggie scraps, nonmeat food items and grass and leaves. 5. Turn it once a week and this can be done easily in a trash can by turning it on it's side and giving a roll or two. 6. You have to make sure that the stuff doesn't dry out. So when I put my grass clippings in I tossed in some water also. I got these tips off the internet, forgot what site sorry. This is an experiment for me also...but it was simple enough to get started. Took me less than a half hour using the old trash can method. Oh and it's easy to transport around the yard while doing yard work and composting. Good luck and hope this helps. There are tons of info online for this stuff.
@roseyroser (1061)
• United States
10 Aug 09
Hi there! You do not have to use it right away. You can just keep adding and turning. I did a paper on composting for a class last semester, so I learned a lot about it. The drawback of composting in the winter is that the materials will take a lot longer to break down. In a compost pile, there is a heat that is created during the process and winter just slows that down because it's cold outside (obviously). You can put a tarp over your bins to keep warm air in it.
@taface412 (3177)
• United States
11 Aug 09
My father suggested that I paint my garbage can black to absorb the sun's heat. And I think I might do that because we usually don't get cold, cold weather until late december or early january. So this might work well in my area for composting for the spring garden. Thanks.
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
9 Aug 09
Hi taface..you don't have to use the compost soon as it's done. You can continuously add to it but if you want to actually use it, stop adding to the bin and let it cook for another 2-3wks. before using. I'm always having continuous compost bins/piles going. Can even comost in a garbage bag. Just layer the material and close it up then set in sun for however long it will take to decompose. A garden fork is the best way to turn the compost in small spaces like a garbage can or narrow bin. Compost will stop cooking once the temps drop to around 40 degrees but once spring comes and the temps are back up over 50, it will start cooking again. What I like to do is empty a bin or 2 in the fall and start fresh with a scoop of soil and maybe a little garden waste then add to it all winter with my kitchen scraps. It will then start cooking when the temps warm up and be ready by mid spring. I use the 55-gallon drums for diverted rainwater since they will last almost forever if taken care of.
@taface412 (3177)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Thanks for the tips and I'll give them a try with my mini compost bin. If all works I plan on making a 55 gallon drum one next year. Thanks for responding.
• United States
9 Aug 09
I am thinking you just keep adding to it all the time. It will not be ready to use until next year though. But as long as you add to it and then turn it then it's okay... I think. I used a compost pile where we took the "good stuff" off the bottom. Winter I think will work as long as you keep it turned. The process may slow considerable though due to cold weather.. depending on where you live of course!! Just remember not to put meat in the thing or it'll ruin it.
@taface412 (3177)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Usually our winters aren't too severe and if we do have bad weather it's not so long. Plus I figure going the rubbermaid way it would be much easier to turn it during cold weather, and get frustration out while rolling it around LOL. Thanks for the response.