Make Compost Fast and Without Turning It Over
Composting is good for the environment and great for your garden, but it’s not exactly fun. A large compost pile in your garden needs frequent turning to mix the material, it does not smell very nice (mind the neighbors) and it takes a long time to compost all the material. That’s why tumbler model compost bins were developed, which process their contents much faster in a closed container. But those compost bins often can’t hold very much material and may need daily turning. That’s why EarthMaker, the original No-Turn Rapid Composter, has developed yet another approach.
Where I live, it’s time to start working in the garden again. It’s good to breathe some fresh air again and to get rid of the office stress after a long winter. But what to do with all the organic matter from the lawn, the plants and the trees? Making a compost pile to recycle your garden waste is good for mother nature and would certainly be an option, but I’m not the kind of person who wants to go out in the garden every few days to turn it. And the tumbling designs won’t hold the volume of organic waste that my garden produces.
Now EarthMaker has designed a three-stage compost bin where the three bins are positioned above one another instead of next to each other – in the latter case, you’d have had to do the work yourself to move the compost from one bin to the other. In the EarthMaker design, gravity does the work for you.
In the top bin, fresh organic matter is added and begins decomposing, thereby reducing the volume. It can then be moved to the middle bin, where it’s digested further. Finally, it matures in the bottom bin. This way, you create a continuous cycle where new material is kept separated from older material, which speeds up the process compared to a design where you mix everything. EarthMaker claims that their compost bin design can make twice as much compost over the same period as traditional designs.
The unit is designed to provide good aeration, while its black color captures those extra sunrays during winter, helping to keep the temperature up and speeding up the process.
Here’s an instructional video. Skip to halfway to skip the assembly instructions and to see it in action.
- Stationary compost bin, doesn’t require regular turning
- Claimed to be twice as fast as traditional designs
- Three-stage design, keeping new material separated from partly decomposed matter
- Composts and recycles your kitchen and garden waste
- 16.4 cubic ft., 30L x 30W x 47H inches (466 liters, 75 x 75 x 120 cm).
You need sufficient space to place the compost bin, preferably shaded from hot midday sun. Even though it’s a no-turn design, it’s still recommended that you mix and stir the material in the upper chamber at least every 2–3 weeks, but that shouldn’t be an issue when you have to work in the garden anyway
If you have no suitable place to install it or if even the bi-weekly stirring is too much for you, you could still consider a vermicomposter, which is a stationary bin that uses worms to speed up the process. This type can even be installed indoors – if you don’t get a veto from your family, that is.
Where to buy
If you look at the product, it’s obvious that it’s the same as the one that’s sold as “No-Turn Rapid Composter”. The latter one sells for about $300; the EarthMaker sells for about 2/3 of that price at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk for Europe. We dig deeper, saving you about 33%.
Approx. price: $200, depending on the source (February 2010).