Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Compost Bins: A Little Help

We're moving into a new house soon, and I'm taking this opportunity to improve my composting system. I grew up composting in side-by-side open piles contained by bricks or concrete blocks, and this is pretty much what I have now. It's a bit slow, but really easy. I want something more contained this time around. Our new back yard has chain link fencing, and an open compost pile isn't very pretty to look at. Also, contained composting systems break down the organic materials more quickly.

I'm not interested in buying a compost bin. I want to make something so I can tailor it to fit my needs exactly and so I can control the costs. My main concerns are cost and laziness (as in, I am lazy). The two homemade systems I'm seeing are

1) Chicken wire supported by poles. Pros: we have chicken wire that the previous owners left, and this is a pretty easy construction. Cons: In order to stir the compost, you have to move the wire structure, stir, and then shovel the compost back into the container. This is a bit of work, though not too bad if I'm only stirring once or twice a month (note: see laziness).

2) An old metal trashcan with holes drilled in it. Pros: Stirring is easy since you just roll the can on its side a bit. Cons: I would have to find an old metal trashcan.

Have you had any success building a compost system? Are you lazy, too? What works for you?


lizzie said...

I have made dozens of compost bins. My method is to by lengths of wire fencing from Home Depot and join them to make a circle. Each one cost about $10 but have lasted me forever. I buy the green plastic coated. I cut the sides to fasten together. When I am ready to take the compost out or turn it I undo the sides and take the whole circle away. So easy and portable.

mollyjade said...

Thanks, lizzie. I think I am going to go with the wire plan. Good to know that you can just untie it to stir. That was the part I was concerned about.