Envirocycle Composter review

I finally got around to reviewing my Envirocycle composter.  I’m really impressed with this thing… I’ve seen a lot of lame compost tumblers out there and this isn’t one of them.

It can fit in the smallest of backyards, and it’s extremely easy to rotate.

It’s made of recycled plastic and all of its parts are quite sturdy, from the grips to the latch.

For easiest operation, spin the tumbler towards you.  This way, you sort of “fall” into the tumbler, using your weight to help roll it around as it gets heavier.

You’ll probably start finding all kinds of stuff to compost once you have this in your backyard.

I truly think this is the best compost tumbler available and even better it’s one of the cheapest…two dirty thumbs up.

Customer service-wise, my experience has been great as well.  I had the thing overfilled, causing the latch to bend while I was tumbling it…completely my fault, as I didn’t read the instructions properly.  I told them I needed a new latch, and they sent me two the next week.  Can’t beat that.

I also decided to make a follow up video to show the unit up close and address some of the questions I’ve received:

Envirocycle Composter Review – Part 2

Be sure to hit the “Like” button for my video and leave a comment for me!

Interested in one?  Click here to get yours today!

14 thoughts on “Envirocycle Composter review”

  1. I’m in downtown Toronto where we have a lot of very skilled, persistent and dexterous urban wildlife. I’m skeptical about that latch keeping raccoons out. Any thoughts?

    1. I have raccoons here in Philly, and I’ve never found my tumbler open. A few weeks ago, I started a new tumbler load and left open the lid overnight to see if anything would happen…within an hour a possum was in the backyard. I went outside and closed the lid, and the possum left.

      The new Envirocycle model with the metal latch is definitely a better deal and holds pretty tight.

      Most importantly of all, if you start your compost with proper quantities of browns and greens, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. 🙂

  2. Tyler, i watched your two videos about composting using the envirocycle. what i was hoping to see was how you remove the compost once it’s done cooking. what i don’t understand about these tumbler composters is when/how you remove ready compost if you’re constantly adding new stuff to the mix. i’ve used a stationary box-type composter, where the composted soil drops to the bottom and you dig it out from a door at the bottom of the box. this way you can keep adding new organic waste from the top. seems to me that in this tumbler, the composted soil and new waste would constantly be mixed up and you’d never have fully composted soil. either that or you fill it up and then don’t add anything for a month or two while it’s busy composting. any comments on this?

    1. Great question.

      Answers will vary… many will tell you to get two of them, so one is full and you add to the other while the first one completes. Personally, I think that’s too expensive of a solution! Here are some options and observations, and I’d love your feedback on them.

      My composting history is this: I started by just burying all my food waste in the backyard. Then I got a compost tumbler after doing a ton of research and looking at other people’s. In fact, the newest Envirocycle features my improvement suggestions, which is flattering because I had no idea they were watching my videos! 🙂

      Then I got a Worm Inn to handle waste year round using worms. Super fun, but requires a little responsibility. Not much, but a little. I like minimal to no responsibility, as much as I love composting.

      Between my two systems, I haven’t had any issues. The difference is that I don’t really garden, although I’m promising that will change this upcoming season. What I would suggest is to fill the Envirocycle until it’s about 3/4 of the way full. After that, I usually feed bits to my worms and bury the rest in the ground next to the Envirocycle. At some point, I will dump out all the contents of the Envirocycle and let it sit out for a day when it’s not supposed to rain. Then I’ll sift through it to pull out anything that doesn’t look right.

      I’ll dump the unfinished back into the tumbler, and probably dig up some of what I buried and add that. Then I add in my browns I’ve had lying around and off I go.

      i’m not a sales-y dude, and I would suggest creating a pile using pallets wired together or some old chickenwire and make a big 3’x3’x3′ pen. The downside to this is turning the material, and my back is in lousy shape. The upside is the volume of material. If the Envirocycle was even bigger, it could reach higher temperatures and cook even better. However, a lot of people don’t have the option to create a pen due to pests, neighbors, etc. So I come back to the tumbler.

      What’s your compost scenario like? I hope I am of some help!

      Thanks for writing.

  3. Enjoy your site! Questions about the Envirocycle. 1) Does the 52 gallon have the improved metal clasp? 2) Do you have in stock? (Some sites list it as not available.)
    Gil Tierney

    1. The 52 gallon has the improved metal clasp…and yes this metal clasp is awesome in comparison to the plastic one, which can bend/warp over time if you’re not careful.

      I don’t carry physical product of the Envirocycle. I just have a link to Amazon from my page, which is where I think the best deal is on them…further, the one I direct you to goes right to Envirocycle’s Amazon page.

      Thanks for the support, I really really appreciate it!

  4. Tyler — I forgot one question. Does the 52 gallon have the improved vent the mini now has? == Gil Tuerney

  5. Hi, Tyler — Just watched your video — thanks so much! I do have one question — Do you know where I might find information as to how to initially set the composter up — relative amounts of each of the items (dirt, green waste, dry/brown waste), should there be any other additive initially (a starter?), do I need to add equal amounts of dry/brown and green at the same time when these items are added, do I need to maintain moisture (how much) and temperature (how?), do I empty the contents when the drum is full and where (a corner of the yard?) in a pile and if so, how do I appropriately protect the growing pile (cover?). Actually, this is more than one question — sorry. Perhaps there is a publication that you would recommend that would tell me what to do if you don’t have time. Thanks!!!

    Sam

    1. Hi Sam! Thanks for checking out the video. My responses below are after the <><>

      >>>Do you know where I might find information as to how to initially set the composter up — relative amounts of each of the items (dirt, green waste, dry/brown waste)

      <><> If you look at my other videos, I have one entitled “Top Tips For Composting At Home” that should answer most of your questions. In the video, I use the Envirocycle so that should be pretty helpful. Shred everything up the best you can, and I like to add a ratio of 3:1…3 times as much browns as greens.

      >>> should there be any other additive initially (a starter?)

      <><> Nope! For fun, I tried using some crappy dog food as an activator, as I read in a few places. It may have worked a little bit, but it’s definitely not necessary at all. I don’t recommend buying compost activators, either. They may work, but I don’t think they’re worth it. If you satisfy ratio, material size, airflow and moisture, you’ll be good.

      >>>do I need to add equal amounts of dry/brown and green at the same time when these items are added

      <><> You don’t have to, but if you can, why not? I like to hold on to as much material as I can and make a whole pile all at once if possible…then alternate. Fill the composter, fill the other one, dig a hole in the ground and do that for a bit, add to the compost pile, feed the worms, empty finished compost from tumbler and start again. 🙂

      >>>do I need to maintain moisture (how much) and temperature (how?)

      <><> “damp as a wrung out sponge” as they say. When using a compost tumbler, they tend to hold moisture pretty well…so you shouldn’t have to water it…pretty handy. Temperature, not so much. It’s fun to pay attention to it, but ultimately if you’re paying attention to the aforementioned factors, your pile will move right along.

      >>>do I empty the contents when the drum is full and where (a corner of the yard?) in a pile

      <><> Sure. I keep my finished compost in buckets and usually end up using it for my container plants or give it out to neighbors. As many different composting systems as I have, I don’t generate a whole lot of compost as I only live with one other person. And a dog 🙂

      >>>how do I appropriately protect the growing pile (cover?)

      <><> growing pile? You mean like putting a tarp on a compost bin? If you have a tumbler you won’t need to cover it. Compost bins don’t need a tarp, but they can help to keep it from getting too soaked, and to hold in the heat a bit, although it’s not mandatory to do this.

      >>>Actually, this is more than one question — sorry. Perhaps there is a publication that you would recommend that would tell me what to do if you don’t have time.

      <><> Check out some of my other videos, search around on the site, and better yet sign up for my free composting course in the upper right hand corner. 🙂

      >>>Thanks!!!

      <><> You’re welcome!

  6. Hello Tyler,

    Nice videos.

    Compost is completely new to us. We just started to grow wheat grass indoors in our family room at our home and we’re in it for the long haul. We have a townhouse w/ about a 350 sq. ft. patio on the back we can use for compost. We basically want to recycle the dirt after we’ve used it two times (instead of throwing it on the hill in the back). So, we were wondering if you still think the Envirocycle would be the best option for us. We may have to get 2 since we are probably looking for the quickest and easiest solution to deal with…

    Please let us know.

    Thank you.
    Sincerely,

    Doug

    1. Hi Doug,

      How much material would you be generating? If you have large volumes of yard waste and such, I’d actually recommend something bigger.

      I envy the size of your patio! I’d actually go with a Geobin unit, which can hold around 4’x3’x3′ of material. Also since you mentioned getting two Envirocycles, which would run you a fair bit of change, while getting a bin would cost $30.

      What do you think?

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