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Compost Bin

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Project by Joshua Jorgensen posted 09-29-2012 09:19 PM 1288 views 9 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After my wife and I moved into our first house last year, we realized that we created what seemed like a lot of food waste for two people. So we decided to start composting as a means to get rid of some of that waste.

After looking online for bins I could buy, I decided that building my own might be a better way to go. I had, after all, just started to get interested in rough carpentry and wood working. This coupled with me being a designer with a penchant for CG as well as someone who is meticulous in nature pointed towards DIY being the best solution.

Since I knew so little about composting, I started by reading as much as I could and determined that a good bin should have easy access to allow for the turning of compost, should be large, and should have adequate airflow. With those criteria in mind, I started to look at plans that others had created. This eventually led me to these plans by Lowe’s.

http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/Building-a-Compost-Bin-0109.aspx

This bin seemed perfect. It was a three stage system so once the left side got full, the compost could be moved to the right side for finishing. Although the bin seemed perfect, I wanted to change the dimensions of it to better fit the area in my yard that it was going to live. I also decided to build it one section at a time.

After redrawing the plans and building it, I’m happy to say, it came out great. When planning the bin, I didn’t anticipate just how far down things would compost. It’s been almost a year now and I haven’t even needed to build the second (or third) bin yet. After everything bakes down, the bin is never more than 1/4 full. I would like to use the finished compost soon though so I am going to need to build a second bin for finishing at some point in the near future.

Head over to my blog to see the plans I made for the project here: http://joshuajorgensen.com/?p=28

-- Joshua, Washington, http://www.joshuajorgensen.com





5 comments so far

View Nazair's profile

Nazair

43 posts in 1380 days


#1 posted 09-30-2012 12:52 AM

Great idea and thanks for posting. You’ve pushed me a little closer to starting composting bin myself. Does it get a little smelly around the box?? I have just the neighbor I’d like to bother, lol.

-- Naz

View Joshua Jorgensen's profile

Joshua Jorgensen

3 posts in 802 days


#2 posted 09-30-2012 01:18 AM

While I’m certainly no expert when it comes to composting, I can tell you that my compost bin does not smell. So, unfortunately, it probably won’t do the trick for bothering an obnoxious neighbor. It does attract a lot of bugs though, primarily fruit flies. So if your neighbor has a fruit fly phobia, it could be just the ticket. :)

If you do decide to start composting, here are a few things I’ve discovered in doing mine:

Don’t put a lot of meat or protein based foods into your compost bin, it’ll attract animals if you do.

Water your compost on a fairly regular basis if you don’t live in a moist climate.

Also, try to have a mix (I don’t have an exact ratio) of paper based products or dead, browning plants along with your fresh vegetable and fruit waste, it’ll speed up the composting process immensely in my experience.

And finally, use a pitchfork to stir your compost once or twice a week.

Oh, and of course, post your finished project back here for everyone to see.

-- Joshua, Washington, http://www.joshuajorgensen.com

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

597 posts in 1037 days


#3 posted 09-30-2012 08:01 AM

Nice project. I use plastic bins similar to the Daleks in Dr Who if you have seen them. You should never put cooked food in a compost bin just use uncooked vegetable waste, some grass clippings but not too much as they can clog up the mix, and any spent garden plants including non evergreen leaves as they fall. I never include weeds as their seeds will quickly germinate when you spread the compost on your border.The sign of a good compost heap is the presence of plenty of worms that will be happy to much the contents and help with the compost production process and can also be used for fishing. Keep on composting!
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Joshua Jorgensen's profile

Joshua Jorgensen

3 posts in 802 days


#4 posted 09-30-2012 02:51 PM

The Dalek bins are probably pretty cool looking. After one or two times last season, we stopped putting yard waste in our compost bin. It just overwhelmed everything and honestly, the grass broke down faster if I just left it on the lawn.

Thanks for looking JR45.

-- Joshua, Washington, http://www.joshuajorgensen.com

View redsox9's profile

redsox9

85 posts in 1011 days


#5 posted 10-02-2012 07:48 PM

This is fantastic! The tips that other posters have left here are great, too. I’d like to begin composting as well because I find myself sometimes with substantial yard waste while being unable to dump it in the woods (wetlands) behind my property (town conservation rules). For me, the trick is going to be managing that waste so that it does not overwhelm the composting station nor our own needs. Perhaps I will build two? We shall see… thanks for sharing!

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

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