Prepping, homesteading and living the simple, green, independent life.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Birthday Present: 3 Bin Compost System!

My birthday went by recently and I got a little bit of money so I decided to create myself a 3-bin compost system, "borrowed" from Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast.

I already have a nice compost bin that my wife bought me a while back but the problem is with just one bin our compost is never fully complete because we're always adding new stuff too it.  I've got some really nice looking compost but mixed in are chunks of stuff that haven't broken down yet.

So with a 3 bin system, the idea is to begin in bin #1 and a month or so later dump it in #2. New stuff goes in bin #1. Later dump #2 in bin #3 and so on. This way you're turning over your compost and not mixing new with already composted stuff.  We've already got "bin 3" so I only had to make two of these.

Also, the thing I really liked about Jack's system was that it used a tube through the pile to circulate air through it. The idea is that the compost will warm inside the bin as it breaks down which then warms the air.  Warm air rises so it will go out the top of the tube and new cool air is sucked up through the bottom of the tube.  I picked a black garbage can as my bin because the colour will also help keep the insides warm.

This 3-bin system is pretty easy to make and I did two under an hour; here are the steps:

1) Materials: dark coloured garbage plastic garbage cans, PVC pipes, right angle PVC connectors
2) I used a rotary tool (Dremel) to cut a hole the size of the PVC pipe in the bottom front
3) Cut a hole through the top of the lid.  Space pipes and mark off where to cut.  They should stick out a couple of inches.
4) Cut your pipes to length, attach together (I used an epoxy on mine)

5) Drill holes in pipe about an inch apart and on all 4 "sides".  Don't put holes on bottle bend to allow for "suction".  Now just fit it all together and you're done.  


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