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Author Topic: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?  (Read 430 times)

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lcarduk

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Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« on: July 20, 2017, 20:05 »
Can a normal black bin be used as a composter? Or any special requirements like open bottom for worms to get? Holes for drainage? I have a few black bins so wondered if I can save on the cost of a composter and just dump the leftovers and things in there or not!
Thanks


sunshineband

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 08:31 »
Compost exudes liquid as the contents rot down, so holes in the bottom as a minimum. I prefer open bottomed containers myself, so cutting the bottom out will allow contact with the soil too.
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texas

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 13:14 »
definately, always good to use what you have lying around, worth cutting the bottom out like sunshineband said though

lcarduk

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 14:25 »
Didnt think about cutting the bottom out, just holes. Sounds like a plan, i am going to do it I have a spare black bin lying around not being used.

Is it worth putting chicken wire under to stop rats (my wife doesn't want a composter she says it will attract rats). But the bin is probably not rat proof so wonder if there is a point as they'd just eat their way in anyway.

snowdrops

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2017, 14:35 »
Yeswire netting is a good idea,then just don't put any cooked foods in or meats,bones etc
Out of interest you can get sealed composter to deter rats etc that you can add food waste too, mine works reasonably well except when I emptied it the bones were still there. I opted to sieve them out as at the time they were reinterring Richard the 3rd lol & I felt if his bones had last 500 years so might the chicken,lamb & beef bones! Lol
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 14:38 by snowdrops »

mjg000

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 19:35 »
I've used black bins as a "wormery", cut holes in the bottom and put in all my veg scraps from home.  Can get very wet at times but you can always put in cardboard or paper to mix in and it sorts out.

cc

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2017, 10:53 »
Chainsaw chippings rot down really quickly. I assume sawdust would too. Also helps when the compost is to wet. Remember plastic bins taper up so you can't just lift off the compost bin to get at the compost.  I wonder if having two plastic bins,  putting holes in the base and tipping one into the other every week (until it is to heavy) would be a good way of creating compost quickly. The latter is based on my belief that most people don't turn there compost every week??

sunshineband

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2017, 10:56 »
I've used black bins as a "wormery", cut holes in the bottom and put in all my veg scraps from home.  Can get very wet at times but you can always put in cardboard or paper to mix in and it sorts out.

I add a lot of shredded paper to my compost mix, which helps keep things balanced. I don't turn it, as such, just mix the top 30-40cm every time I add anything, the once the bin is full to bursting I cover it with plastic and leave it, starting to fill the next bin. I have one "cooking" one being filled and one  being emptied as needed

As for rats, they do not like damp compost and only visit when they can find a nice snug spot inside. 

compostqueen

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2017, 11:52 »
You can use the bins for rhubarb forcing too.  might need a brick on top in windy weather

lettice

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2017, 12:09 »
I use old dustbins with the bottom cut off as well as a few compost bins and cut the bottom off and they work very well.
Like a compost bin with no bottom its easier then to lift the lid off and rework and dig out some of your compost.
Compost bins are larger and a bit thicker than a dustbin so I put a round layer of carpet on the top of the compost to keep more heat in. If the bin does not have lid closing handles place a brick on top of the bin lid to stop anything easily lifting the lid like a fox.

Never had anything untoward get inside the bottom, so no need for any wire underneath it and i normally dig down a good foot when using the compost as the soil becomes rich under the bin as the worms pull it down.


TREGRAHOW

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2017, 09:17 »
..... The latter is based on my belief that most people don't turn there compost every week??
[/quote]

I now have five daleks on my plot and two in my garden. (So many people can't seem to get the hang of them and give them away.) Turning the contents of my 4' x 4' x 4' wooden boxes by hand was back breaking. I bought a spiral compost stirrer and had to remove the rat's tail lead-in end in order for it to actually screw into the compost. It worked well enough but I've since bought a wing digger and now do every bin religiously once a week. My back is holding up quite well. My boxes are now used for storing large amounts of horse manure and leaves.

Aunt Sally

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Re: Can a normal black bin be used as a composter?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 10:26 »
As long as the bin belongs to you and is not one issued by the council for refuse collection, it sounds like a great idea.

If you drill holes in the bottom but ensure the base is in contact with the soil below, mini beasts will be able to get in and do the work for you.  Your bin would then still be trundleable around the plot for spreading compost when it's ready for use.
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