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Composting Bins

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Composting Bins

Choosing Composting Bins

Are you interesting in getting started in composting, but are unsure what type of composting bins are the best to use. Well there are a wide variety of composting bins available for purchase for backyard use. Each bin varies in price, style and function, but all are designed to help you compost more efficiently.

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Composting Bins & Systems

Composting BinsWhen it comes to composting bins, each system has some advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when making your choice. However, there aren't many significant differences in actual composting performance between the various traditional bin systems. Choosing a type of bin is generally a matter of asking questions such as, "How much kitchen and yard material do I have for composting?" and "What system best fits my preferences for neatness, attractiveness, and convenience?" There are some very attractive and well-engineered commercial composting bins out there, as well as plans for excellent do-it-yourself models.

Composting         How To Compost

Enclosed Composting Bins

Using enclosed composting bins is composting at its most basic. Enclosed composting bins are best for growers with limited space. They offer a neat appearance and are available at a low cost, which makes this the most popular bin available. The main advantage of this bin is that it is low maintenance and being enclosed keeps it from getting to wet and helps deter animals. The only real downside is that since it is low maintenance, you have slower composting time. There are two options for enclosed composting bins, which are one-bin systems and multiple bin systems.

One Bin Systems:
A one-bin system is the simplest way to make a compost pile, and is a great way to get started. If you plan to make a lot of compost, one bin may not be enough capacity. In a one-bin system, if you build the pile over time, the stuff on the bottom will decompose first since it will have been there the longest. When there is finished compost at the bottom of the bin, and you want to use it, you just simply remove the unfinished compost from on top, take out what you need, and throw the unfinished compost back on top.

Two Bin and Three Bin Systems:
These systems consist of two or three adjacent bins. The advantage of having more than one bin is that one bin can have a the pile being built and another one can have a pile already built that is in a more advanced stage of decomposition. If you have the space for such a system, and are generating or gathering enough materials to keep the bins in use, this can be very convenient. When this bin becomes full, 'turn the pile' by transferring it to the adjacent bin (a garden fork or similar tool will help). This will aerate the pile and hasten decomposition.

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Rolling Composting Bins

As the name implies, rolling composting bins can be rolled to your yard waste, loaded up and then rolled away. A quick tumble every day or two helps to mix and aerate the pile, which eliminates the need to aerate with a pitchfork or compost aerator. Rolling composting bins are best for homeowners and others with sufficient space. Their main advantage in the low maintenance needed, plus they make aerating the pile easy. And since they are enclosed they also keep our rain and help deter animals. The only real downside is that when the bin is fully loaded they can become heavy and difficult to roll.

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Tumbler Composting Bins

Composting tumbler bins are probably the easiest of all of the bins to use. Compost tumblers are designed so that they turn their contents easily. They are good for homeowners with limited space that are willing to invest in a compost bin. They keep your compost neat in appearance and make composting quick and easy and are becoming a popular choice. The cost of these systems can be high, and they are somewhat small, but these factors are balanced out by the speed at which tumbler system can generate finished compost. Under ideal circumstances, compost may be finished in three weeks in a rotating drum composter. They are very easy to use, you just need to give the unit a turn every day or so to aerate the ingredients and remix them. And remember it is important not to pack the container too full, because the ingredients won't tumble and mix if packed in tightly.

The only real downside is that once tumbler composting bins are full and the composting process begins, you have to wait before adding additional materials. However, while one batch is composting, you can accumulate the materials for the next batch. When the first compost is finished, you can dump in the materials you've saved to make more. It's possible to maintain relatively high temperatures in tumbler systems even if they are small, both because the container acts as insulation and because the constant turning keeps the microbes aerated and active.

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