compost tumbler story

Know not everyone is living in a place where they can have a compost pile.  You can see how close we are to our neighbors and to keep the visitors that compost attracts to a minimum, I use compost tumblers.  Have tried other kinds of containers and the tumblers seem to work the best.

BUT

IMG_1000 (768x1024)The tumbler in the background is metal, the one in the foreground is black plastic.  The rear tumbler has a crank handle, the forward one has to be manhandled around, hence raising it on blocks.  The metal composter is a light green and came with a 5 year warranty – which is good, because I’ve already had to replace the metal panels that make up the body of the tumbler as they rusted through.  The composter is now out of warranty and the metal panels are rusting through.  Am going to clean up the tumbler and disassemble it when I next empty it and try using Flex Seal on it.  Can’t be any worse than it is now and might give it a few more years.

NOW – the metal composter is also quite a bit larger than the plastic one and what that means is it takes a LONG time to fill it up.  No grass clippings here in the desert, so it is garden waste, kitchen waste, and the occasional upended flower pot.  The lighter color does not get as hot as the black one and because it is so big, the waste takes longer to become compost than it would if it were smaller.  End result? the black one will be full before the green one is ready to empty.

AND – oh yeah, neither can be emptied directly into a wheel barrow to move about, they both have to be shoveled out.  That also adds to shortening the life of the metal panel parts.

Can’t be seen in the photo are some plastic garbage “cans” that have had holes drilled in the side.  The unfinished compost will be dumped into these containers to finish composting.

MORAL OF THE STORY – if you are going to use container composting, make sure your containers are of fairly even size so they can truly work together.  Have a third composter on order – Fed Ex has lost it – and that will allow me to keep that green monster going a little longer because while the standing stationary containers help in finishing the compost, they can’t be turned easily so the product finishes unevenly.

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