Discount composter – savings all round!

Miss Thrifty11 September 24, 2008

Our new composter arrived today. It looks like this:

We have put it out in the garden, behind the shed. You dump the peelings etc. in the top, and scoop out the resulting compost through the sliding hatch at the bottom. This is a family-sized bin and it’s massive: I think it will take us a year to fill it!

Not only is it eco-friendly, it only cost us £20.00 including delivery! Our county council (North Yorkshire) is subsidising the costs of all home composters purchased by residents.

We bought it from the website; if you are reading this in the UK, enter your postcode into the site’s homepage to find out if you can get money off too. You can also enter a competition to win £100 of gardening vouchers.

Five composting tips:

  1. If your carpets are made from wool, you can add the contents of your vacuum cleaner to the bin! But be sure to mix them with fruit and vegetable waste, so that the dust doesn’t dry out the bin’s contents.
  2.  If ground elder or bindweed – my personal nemesis – grow in your garden, carpet the base of your bin with black polythene. (Biodegradable black polythene, I presume!)
  3. Don’t put your bin on wooden decking. Its contents will ooze.
  4. You can add shellfish shells! Apparently they’ll enrich the compost’s mineral content. But bash them up with a hammer first.
  5. If the contents of the bin do not appear to be composting, give them a good stir. If the contents look dry, add some more food and vegetable waste, together with some water.

I found all these on the website, which is a trove of useful information that I recommend to anyone with an interest in home composting.

UPDATE: This post was selected for the 145th Festival of Frugality, hosted by Value For Your Life.

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11 Responses to “Discount composter – savings all round!

gitasan says:

I have a similar composter and a family of 4 only has 1 bag to 1/2 a bag of trash a WEEK! We are very happy with that! lots of recycling and composting going on! Hope my garden loves it next Spring!

September 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Maddy says:

I am not a gardener but I hate waste, I can’t ‘thoil’ it. I’d frugally used all the leftovers in the fridge but what the family find inedible gets slung. So I invested in a Bokashi kitchen composter (2 bins) from Japan which has a fermented bran you put on top of the waste to speed up the decomposition, and it really does work. After the first few weeks I peeped inside the first bin but the food looked whole still, so I couldn’t put it on the soil as I didn’t want rats. So I bought a garden compost bin to layer green waste and the kitchen waste and as I was emptying the kitchen bin I could see the food had changed lower down and was like a thick custard but sweet smelling. Something you wouldn’t mind handling. The drained liquid is too plentiful to use on my indoor plants so i use it for warfare and pour it down the drains to counteract all the bad bacteria that is there. I’m healing the sewers! So after sprinkling a little more bran on the green bin and covering with grass clippings I should have some nice compost soon. Better start gardening.

June 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

missthrifty says:

@Maddy I have looked at the Bokashi composters. Haven’t invested in one yet, but thinking about it. As we’re only filling one dustbin bag a month (as per my New Year’s Resolutions), I get stuck re. what to do with fish & meat waste, as it can’t go in the composter and if it goes in the bin, we’ll end up with a very pongy kitchen!

June 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

missthrifty says:

Ah, thanks for the tip! They are cheaper than I thought AND the bran is too. Seriously considering it now. Two questions: you keep this inside, right? If so, does the Bokashi bin make the kitchen smell?

June 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

Maddy says:

No, because the fermented bran starts off the good bacteria, it’s only the baddies that smell.

June 24, 2010 at 11:27 am

mishmash says:

I have three compost bins and find them very easy to maintain. egg shells, uncooked veg and fruit, grass cuttings from my neighbours (I dont have any lawns), leaves in the autumn, weeds (not ground elder or bind weed like you say) faded flowers and any trimmings go in my bins. I dont use any excelorator (compost food) I ask my old man to save his erhum…. urine and dilute this with water and pour over. I do this approximately 6-8 weeks in the warm weather. Every now and again I chop up with a spade and about 8 months later, I have fantastic compost for my garden. Hope this helps.

August 15, 2011 at 8:31 am

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