Easy Backyard Composting

L. David Roper
roperld@vt.edu
http://www.roperld.com/personal/roperldavid.htm

This is web page http://www.roperld.com/science/composter.htm.

Why Make Compost

I tried several different types of composters before I settled on the tumbler one described here .

Urban Compost Tumbler

For details about the tumbler composter and how to order it, see the web site:
http://www.urbangardencenter.com/products/composter/uct9/index.html. I highly recommend getting two. I am sorry to report that the Urban Compost Tumbler is no longer being made: http://www.urbangardencenter.com/.

Some items that I have found helpful in using the tumbler composter:

These are the two sizes (7.3 ft3 and 9.5 ft3) of composters available from Urban Garden Center. (The smaller one is easier to turn, but does not compost as quickly as the larger one.) In the foreground is a tarp covering the compost after it is removed from the composters to keep animals out of it. On top of it is a sled used to transfer the compost from the composter to the pile. In the background is a container for a bucket (and garden items) in which to put the kitchen scraps when it is very cold and both composters are full.

Addendum in January 2013: Apparently Urban Garden Center no longer sells the smaller composter. They do have a special price when buying two of the larger composter, which is what I recommend.

    

Another important part of composting is how to store compostable material in the house before taking it to the composter outside. I tried several ways and finally settled on a 2.5-gallons bin with an activated-carbon filter in the lid:

L. David Roper interdisciplinary studies

Green Cone Food Digester

The location of our composters is not ideal: There is much shade. Even with the two tumblers the compost is still not quite done when I take it out. So I added food digester. I bought the Green Cone Digester.


The black 18"-deep basket goes underground.

The hole is ~2'x2' with ~6" of rocks under the basket because of clay soil.

Only food scraps are to go in it. My plans are to put about half of our food scraps in it to give the tumblers a longer time to cure the compost.

References

L. David Roper, http://www.roperld.com/personal/roperldavid.htm
22 July, 2017