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compost bin - yes or no?

(28 Posts)
emily05 Thu 23-Jun-05 12:05:53

My council is selling compost bin cheaply.

What are the benefits? What sort of things could I put in my compost bin?
What are the cons?

Lizzylou Thu 23-Jun-05 12:08:24

We've got one and are trying to get another! NOt much space for it though!
Benefits are: Cheap compost, less rubbish, more environmentally friendly

Cons are: bit yucky to keep filling it up (esp with hangover!), takes awhile to get compost "going" and they can look a bit unslightly!
We've got a green one in the corner of our garden with ferns growing around it to try and hide it!
I'd recommend them

AnnieQ Thu 23-Jun-05 12:11:06

It's a great idea if you use compost, and as a way to "reduce, reuse and recycle".

You can compost any organic matter, uncooked vegetables and peelings, egg shells, cardboard, grass clippings, compost from old plant pots and so on. Don't put in any cooked food or any meat, it will attract rats. You can add an accelerator if you want to, which will speed up the process.

jangly Thu 23-Jun-05 12:14:35

Wee is a good accelerater - and cheap!

Lizzylou Thu 23-Jun-05 12:16:13

Really Jangly??
How do you,ahem, add the wee to the compost bin???

bossykate Thu 23-Jun-05 12:19:06

i get my dh to go there under cover of darkness and pee on it. he's not thrilled about it, but that's how much he loves me, bless him!

trefusis Thu 23-Jun-05 12:22:39

Message withdrawn

Lizzylou Thu 23-Jun-05 12:26:45

I hadn't thought of DH weeing onto it...I had visions of me perched precariously over the bin!! Yuk! I will get my Dh onto the case!!

chipmonkey Thu 23-Jun-05 12:27:39

I accidentally grew potatoes in mine because I forgot to chop up some seedy ones before puttin them in!

chipmonkey Thu 23-Jun-05 12:28:30

LOL at lizzylou perching over the bin!

Lizzylou Thu 23-Jun-05 12:35:04

It really doesn't bear thinking about, Chipmonkey!

Littlefish Thu 23-Jun-05 13:32:11

We have a compost bin and just recently started using the compost out of it. Apparently you should add some soil to it every so often, and occasionally some water. I'm not a keen gardener so perhaps someone else will be able to confirm this!

chipmonkey Fri 24-Jun-05 11:04:25

definitely should add water. Don't know about the soil!

serah Sat 25-Jun-05 22:57:05

hmmm. adding water to my compost bin would turn it to slurry... I add sheets of newspaper between my layers of scraps.. this keeps the compost nice and crumbly instead of loking like a cowpat at the bottom. Also recycling so very green!!!

tiddlypom Sat 25-Jun-05 23:04:27

You only add water if the compost looks too dry - mine is often too wet, so I add torn-up egg cartons to counteract the wetness. I think knowing if too wet or too dry comes with experience, but common sense goes some way as well. I've never had compost which is too dry so far, except in the worm compost bin - worms really must have damp conditions. If you have lots of wet-looking worms, your compost probably isn't too dry!

Adding soil used to be recommended in gardening books, to remedy something, but it isn't mentioned in modern ones so much. I don't bother, but then some soil goes in on the roots of weeds.

Janh Sat 25-Jun-05 23:15:19

I think the soil is to keep smells and flies down, tp. We have to add it to ours, it stands on concrete and never gets any sun on it so the rotting down process is a bit slow and the flies can be horrendous.

The other problem we have is that the compost seems to form a huge plug in the middle, so even when you shovel it out of the bottom nothing falls down to take its place and there is no room to put more yummy waste in at the top. I wonder if I should get DH to climb in and jump up and down (I can't, I'm a laydee)

Janh Sat 25-Jun-05 23:18:39

Re collecting kitchen waste, Lakeland do a kitchen compost bin with a charcoal filter to keep smells in. It's v good. (Well mine is, they have changed the design but I assume it still works the same.)

tiddlypom Sun 26-Jun-05 14:14:54

My dd likes jumping on the compost, Janh. She'll also wee on it given half a chance, but I have to discourage that really - she recently performed while I was having a conversation over the garden fence with the next door neighbour about selling their property...

Before anyone jumps on it, it's as well to put a layer of non-yucky stuff on top, eg grass clippings, or you have to deal with the shoes afterwards.

motherinferior Sun 26-Jun-05 14:16:47

We have one, it makes me feel all One With Nature.

Have not yet persuaded dp to pee on it though.

Weatherwax Sun 26-Jun-05 18:22:43

I have an oak tree so each year I pile the leaves into an open alatted bin. Two years later I have the most beautiful compost. I find the plastic bins sold by the council do not rot my leaves or grass clippings. The lid does keep the smells in from the kitchen scraps so I intend to resite that bin behind my new open one after I've fixed the fence and I will try to go round and put the kitchen scraps in. At the moment I have 5 bins, one of which just has usuable compost and I don't have that big a garden. I'm planning on reducing this by two and my new bin is a large pile surrounded by green coated wire mesh which seems to be doing its job well.I will add the unrotted compose from the obsolite bins to this and remove them.
Yes I keep saying I will as i have damaged my back and I cant do any of it. I am so frutrated!

Weatherwax Sun 26-Jun-05 18:24:16

alatted = slotted its actually rough sawn planks of wood that you construct into a square

Caligula Sun 26-Jun-05 18:46:25

I have a compost bin and a compost heap (covered by a bit of old carpet for insulation), and I found that the heap actually biodegrades everything much quicker, plus you can help it along more by forking it over. I would recommend to have a heap rather than a compost bin- ime the bins just aren't as good as heaps and why bother to pay for them?

Janh Sun 26-Jun-05 21:08:14

Our backyard is a 20 foot square of concrete with a 7x5 shed in one corner - not a lot of scope for a compost heap!

thedogmother Sun 26-Jun-05 21:24:28

Yes - defo brill for getting rid of the kitchen waste. We've had ours for about 15 months now, tucked out of the way and we're still filling that one up, with kitchen waste, occasional grass clippings, egg boxes, sometimes I put in shredded paper, especially if it's looking a bit soggy in there. I get the ds's to pee in a bucket now and again and pour it in on top.

I suppose at some point I need to stop putting things in there to allow it to "turn" to compost. I'll be getting another bin at the side of this one.

Caligula Sun 26-Jun-05 21:28:07

So where do you keep your compost bin Jan? On top of concrete?

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