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Compost bin location



  • FireFire LondonPosts: 12,242
    Wilderbeast said: "@Fire don't break my little composting heart by saying the heat is pointless 😭😭😭"

    Not at all. Heat speeds everything up and does kill pathogens etc. I meant that I don't think that most bins/heaps stay up at the 70oC as it does seem to take a certain type of mix (and size) to get really cooking - much like making a cake.

     The heaps go cold rapidly as they consume the available oxygen so fast then temperatures drop off, turn again and they heat up fast again.

    Is that an oxygen question or a cooking/microbe question?

    It is a myth that a compost heap consumes all the available oxygen.

    I haven't had heaps but I certainly do have problems with compaction at the base of bins with semi-finished compost. It gets very dense and I imagine that any smelliness come from lack of air; not that there is none, but not enough. Once it's 'aired out' and mixed it dries and continues 'cooking'. No more stagnant bog fecal reek.
  • delskidelski Posts: 274
    Don't like that Telegraph article. Turning compost bins puts people off composting? They just want to chuck stuff in an have it magically turn to beautiful compost without doing anything but I think that's highly unlikely unless you homogenize the particle size and keep the moisture content regular plus get the right mix of brown/green. At my previous property, I opened the door on the dalek and whole eggshells rolled out. Clearly someone who wanted to chuck stuff in and see it magically decompose.

    @susielloyd78 Is TrashNothing a new website like Freecycle? Never heard of it before.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 701
    Our compost bins definitely work faster when regularly turned. 

    But not everyone has the time, space or physical strength/energy. A lot of the advice can seem off putting with lots of do’s and dont’s and must do’s.

    When I was working long full time days and OH worked away from home we very rarely turned them if ever, maybe a stir now and then. They were also in the ‘wrong’ place- in the shade and on a paved surface as that was the only space we had in our then garden. Nor did we worry very much about the proportions of greens and browns. And yet magic or rather nature happened and we did get usable compost just slowly, we probably emptied it once a year, anything still uncomposted, like eggshells,  got thrown back in. In effect that was the only time it was turned as we would lift off the Darlek,  take out what was usable and throw the rest back in to continue breaking down.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • @delski Freecycle is just a platform really: freegle, freecycle, other local groups all can be accessed through there so there's just one place to check. I'm on Olio as well, and I feel that the differences are on trashnothing you get bigger items, but also people are less reliable about checking messages/being in/turning up. So it's a bit of a mixed bag.

    About my bin. I got overwhelmed with all the info and very much went towards "sod it" and ignored all the advice I had looked up and just chucked in what was to hand. It has a bit broken off so there's a hole at the bottom which will let the heat out. I'll probably stick some gaffer over it to stop critters getting in. I've mainly put grass clippings in so far, layered with cardboard. But I could not be bothered weeding out the copious amounts of weeds, so it's full of buttercups which I understand is a terrible idea. But I'll give it a stir when I find a big stick and see what I get in a year's time. Probably a well-established colony of buttercups I imagine.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 12,242
    I think a lot of composting comes down to how bothered you are. If you do nothing, the compost isn't going anywhere. You can add more browns if things get too wet, and more greens if thing are too dry. If you stir it or turn it, it will probably transform faster, but most people aren't that bothered, esp if they have good space for bins or piles.

    I would just be careful to not add things like bindweed, or else you might end with a bindweed nursery/jungle.
  • Thanks that's helpful. No bindweed... something that might be nutsedge or quickgrass, buttercups, and ribwort plantain. If it turns out to be a mistake I'll empty it and start again. The garden is a bit of a wilderness anyway so not like I have a meticulously manicured space I'd be worried about. I'll just give it a stir when I remember, if it smells or looks sloppy add cardboard. How would I know if it's dry? I did give it a bit of a water when I first put stuff in because it was a hot sunny day...
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 8,563
    We don't turn ours @susielloyd78, three daleks, we fill one up, trying to mix greens and browns, leave it when full and then use one of the other bins. Eventually we lift off the one's that's been left alone the longest and use the useable compost, then chuck the rest back in and start again. 
    The turning advice is just to get the fastest useable compost in the minimum amount of time -  just ask Wilderbeast! 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 12,242
    If it's crispy or crunchy, then it's dry. If it's smelly or squishy when you squeeze it, then it's wet. You can nearly always recover compost bin contents and transform it, esp if you avoid perennial weeds. Fresh grass cuttings (wet) or shredded carboard (dry) will help it balance out.

    The end product, at its best, is said to be like crumbled chocolate cake and smell like a rich forest floor - so you can angle things towards that. :D
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,387
    edited June 2021
    Some great tips on here 👍🏼

    I tipped my last bin full (half full) onto a tarp to mix it a few times. Labour intensive but mixed well. I find grass mowings can clump into a mat so I have learned to sprinkle a layer in, add a layer of cardboard pieces and mix up when it’s dried out a bit. 

    I also divide my food waste (apart from in Winter) in the kitchen to ‘compostable’ - peelings, coffee grounds, leftover salad etc, and the rest remains in the council food bin.

     Edit: does anyone use cold ash from Chimineas, fire pits etc?? 
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • gondorgondor Posts: 117
    But I'll give it a stir when I find a big stick and see what I get in a year's time. Probably a well-established colony of buttercups I imagine.
    Hahaha, please let us know!
    I got a free compost bin too - a dalek without a door. I put mainly vegetable scraps in it, mixed with shredded tree branches, paper and cardboard. I have also added some partially rotted turves with heavy clay soil - they've been stacked for a year and haven't rotted down on their own. It was quite smelly at one point and had lots of flies so I assumed it was too wet, and then another time it was crawling with ants so it was too dry?! I was turning every few layers and watering if it seemed dry.
    @auntyrach I've never used ash from fires but I believe that would be a good addition

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