18 September 2010

Composter The Cheap And Easy Way

I decided I wanted to start composting so I did what I always do: I got some books.  I read these books and quickly realized that this can easily become a huge thing. I started to get worked up about aeration, rotation, temperature control, vermiculture, browns and green.....AHHHHH!  This is way to complicated!  After a brief break from the whole idea, I can to grips with the idea that I was falling into the classic millenial-green-ennui-trap.  People in my peer group just love a love a good laborious process and this whole composting thing, like so much else, had quickly become just that.  Armed with the argument that "hells bells, it is just a vented box to hold stuff as it rots, how hard can it be?" I made this:

Basically I just took a Rubbermade tub, drilled a crap-ton (yup, technical jargon) of holes and stuck it in my side-bed outside the garage door.  The site gets some sun for all important temperature control, the holes keep it aerated, any drainage will just run into the planting bed for those lucky plants and I can reach it by traversing the garage and leaning out the door making it perfect for year end use.

I then got this to collect stuff in the kitchen.

Pinzon 1-Gallon Ceramic Compost Pail

The process is:
  1. Collect compostable stuff in the house.
  2. Walk jar out to composter when full and tip it in.
  3. Give bin a good shake.
  4. Add some dry stuff if it seems to smelly.
It looks like this once you get it all going:

Simple and fast.  Plus, at this price, if I fill it no worries, just stick it in the woods next to the planting bed and pull it out when it is all "cooked."

See?  That wasn't really so complicated now was it?

Between this and the increased recycling I have developed an odd fixation on how much trash we produce.  Currently we only do one standard trash service can per week and it is rarely full.  This is including the fact that we still have a baby in diapers full time.  Not too shabby really.  I know I am a sick freak, but it gives me a warm fuzzy when I cook a meal and the only trash is the meat packaging or when I look at all the neatly sorted recycling ready to hit the curb.  Perhaps there is a support group for this kind of thing...


Alicen @ The Space Between My Ears said...

I would find it hard to believe this didn't work. Years ago you would hear of people having a compost "pile". They would simply just throw everything in a pile somewhere in the sun, maybe with some chicken wire around it. Now arguably having it covered is a much better way to go but your right in saying things become too much of a process sometimes. It becomes the "cool" thing to do and people seem to forget about why we are doing it.

I can imagine there's not much actual trash left after the recycling and composting. I find that we have 2 trashbags (13 gallon) and 1 small (4 gallon)diaper bag each week. I don't think that's too bad. We have the big trashcan recycling bin and that's overflowing every week, as long as I can keep having more recycles than trash I'm happy!