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Compost bins

I want to start composting, but am not sure how best to approach this in my small back yard

I have the following requirements:
- I have a concrete yard, so it can't be anything that has to sit on soil 

- it has to be rat-proof - occasionally get rats in the alley that runs along the back of the yard

- it has to not smell - lots of neighbours in close proximity 

- It has to be fairly small because I don't have a lot of room

Also, I don't have a lot of money to spend on this

I've spent ages looking online and have yet to come up with anything suitable, so thought I would take advantage of the wealth of  knowledge that you all have 

Thanks in advance!
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Posts

  • You can obtain a black plastic "Dalek" bin from your local authority.  It should have a base. a close fitting lid and a small door at the bottom which slots into place top, bottom and sides.
    Depending on your council, you should pay something around £30.
    If you layer your raw kitchen waste, shredded cardboard/paper along with green waste from your plants ( if you have any ), a bit of top soil and try to mix each layer as you go, it will eventually settle and you can remove the composted material thru the little access door.
    Making sure it is damp ( a can of water every so often or leave the lid off when it rains ) and placing it in a warm sunny spot will increase the speed of the material breakdown.
    Not the ideal method but with your criteria it may be your best bet :)
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,644
    What are you composting? If it's largely kitchen waste (peelings etc) rather than grass clippings, hedge prunings etc then a wormery might be more suitable than a compost bin.
  • Jude9475Jude9475 Posts: 10
    JennyJ said:
    What are you composting? If it's largely kitchen waste (peelings etc) rather than grass clippings, hedge prunings etc then a wormery might be more suitable than a compost bin.
    It will be kitchen waste but also expired annual plants, pruning etc. I have looked at wormeries, but have to admit to being pretty squeamish (sad, I know), are they easy to manage?
  • Jude9475Jude9475 Posts: 10
    You can obtain a black plastic "Dalek" bin from your local authority.  It should have a base. a close fitting lid and a small door at the bottom which slots into place top, bottom and sides.
    Depending on your council, you should pay something around £30.
    If you layer your raw kitchen waste, shredded cardboard/paper along with green waste from your plants ( if you have any ), a bit of top soil and try to mix each layer as you go, it will eventually settle and you can remove the composted material thru the little access door.
    Making sure it is damp ( a can of water every so often or leave the lid off when it rains ) and placing it in a warm sunny spot will increase the speed of the material breakdown.
    Not the ideal method but with your criteria it may be your best bet :)
    Thanks for the really thorough response!

    I was looking at daleks - are they ok on concrete rather than soil?
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,644
    Jude9475 said:
    JennyJ said:
    What are you composting? If it's largely kitchen waste (peelings etc) rather than grass clippings, hedge prunings etc then a wormery might be more suitable than a compost bin.
    It will be kitchen waste but also expired annual plants, pruning etc. I have looked at wormeries, but have to admit to being pretty squeamish (sad, I know), are they easy to manage?

    Sorry, I've never tried one because kitchen waste is only a small proportion of my compostables so it goes in the bins with everything else  - 3 bins approx 1m cube each and on soil, so not the kind of thing you're after.
  • Jude9475Jude9475 Posts: 10
    JennyJ said:
    Jude9475 said:
    JennyJ said:
    What are you composting? If it's largely kitchen waste (peelings etc) rather than grass clippings, hedge prunings etc then a wormery might be more suitable than a compost bin.
    It will be kitchen waste but also expired annual plants, pruning etc. I have looked at wormeries, but have to admit to being pretty squeamish (sad, I know), are they easy to manage?

    Sorry, I've never tried one because kitchen waste is only a small proportion of my compostables so it goes in the bins with everything else  - 3 bins approx 1m cube each and on soil, so not the kind of thing you're after.
    Thanks anyway, it's worth thinking about 
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    edited August 2021
    Mostly  compost bins are recommended to be in contact with the soil so that helpful organisms can move in.  If this is not possible, add a bit of soil to start it off.  After that, never clean in out thoroughly (who does?).  You might have a composting friend who could give you a mature bucketfull.  A bit like a colonic transplant,   ughhh...

    I don't really know whether large scale, council composting is better environmentally .  Possibly if they collect the methane. My own view is that everyone should compost; small yard means small composter.

    Think square.  It will fit in more aesthetically (my view). Round is more effiicent composting-wise.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Jude9475 said:

    I was looking at daleks - are they ok on concrete rather than soil?
    Yes  :)
    @Topbird is a very experienced composter and frequently states this. Hopefully she'll see this tag and look in. 
    I also use one on concrete slabs without any problem. It's more about managing it than anything else, and adding enough of the different materials to get a good mix. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Jude9475 said:
    Thanks for the really thorough response!

    I was looking at daleks - are they ok on concrete rather than soil?
    Yes.  The reason I said to ensure you get one with a base is that you mentioned you only had concrete to place it on and it would keep your yard cleaner/tidier.
    Placing directly onto soil where possible does help but if you have a Rat problem too, they would be capable of digging thru the surrounding soil and under the base rim of the dalek to make a nice warm house for themselves.  As I said tho, if you can add a layer of top soil (from the garden preferably ), that will help to build up your system.  A few Woodlice wouldn't go amiss either ;)
  • Jude9475Jude9475 Posts: 10
    bédé said:
    Mostly  compost bins are recommended to be in contact with the soil so that helpful organisms can move in.  If this is not possible, add a bit of soil to start it off.  After that, never clean in out thoroughly (who does?).  You might have a composting friend who could give you a mature bucketfull.  A bit like a colonic transplant,   ughhh...

    I don't really know whether large scale, council composting is better environmentally .  Possibly if they collect the methane. My own view is that everyone should compost; small yard means small composter.

    Think square.  It will fit in more aesthetically (my view). Round is more effiicent composting-wise.
    Good idea about getting a starter from someone

     We don't have council food waste collections here, or green waste ones in my street because we have yards, not gardens, so that's why I want to start managing it myself

    Thanks for the response!
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