I made another trash can composter today- this time with a nice door upgrade. What for?
Now that my first composter is filled up, it’s going to be tedious to empty out the finished compost 6 months from now. With the door at the bottom, I hope to remove the finished material much easier.
All in all, the project cost me less than $30 and about an hour of work… better yet, it was a cinch to make.
I picked a trash can that had a relatively flat side so it would be easier to attach hinges flush to the surface.
Here’s a close-up of the door at the bottom:
To build the door, I drilled the holes for all three hinges and screwed them in place first (don’t mount the washers and nuts yet).
Second, I used a boxcutter to cut out the door…I made it a good 10″ tall to give my hand some clearance to fish around and remove finished compost.
Next, I threaded the nuts on the screws on each of the hinges and tightened them down.
Finally, I used a 3/16″ bit to drill aeration holes on all sides of the bin plus the lid.
Clean up and dispose all of the plastic shavings from the inside and the outside.
Now you’re ready to divert organic materials from the landfill- Feels good, doesn’t it?
-Phillips head screwdriver
-3/16″ drill bit for ventilation holes
-Socket wrench (or adjustable wrench)
-Nylon insert lock nuts
-Stainless steel screws
Here’s a video I made to show you how to add materials to the bin:
Yes, it really is this simple- find some stuff, make it into a pen, add leaves and food scraps.
Emptying the Worm Inn vermicomposting system is a breeze- check out the gorgeous castings! I don’t miss my old worm bin at all.
The contaminants are pretty funny, too- a few fruit labels, a shredded envelope window, and some uncrushed eggshells didn’t make it.
Sifting out the extras is easy when using a basket with 1/4″ to 1/2″ spacing.
Are you getting the results you’d like with your worm bin or outdoor composting system?
It’s been six months since I’ve emptied the Worm Inn system– I admit I forgot about the worms for a bit, but now I have a ton of castings.
Every time I empty the Worm Inn, I’m always so impressed with the quality of the castings compared to the results from a standard worm bin.
When looking at the outlying “contaminants”, it’s like looking back in time at mistakes that were made- as you can see, I have a few!
- I’m such a stickler about removing labels from fruit, but I guess I wasn’t on a few occasions. Luckily, these are easy to spot.
2. All those plastic shreds were clearly from an envelope that has a plastic window. I like to shred my paper, but I must have shredded a whole junk mail envelope without looking inside to remove a return envelope. Whoops!
3. I read everywhere that worms like crushed egg shells… clearly I haven’t tried that yet. I’m going to crush these egg shells as fine as I can and then throw them back in.
The screening process is pretty easy- Empty the castings until some unprocessed food or worms pop up, then throw them back in the top of the system and zip up the bottom.
I have a wire basket that I dump the castings through, which removes the larger pieces.
Video to come shortly. 🙂
I love watching the steam come off his pile while he turns it…funny how he thinks it’s too hot- it isn’t.
Watching him turn the pile makes my back hurt!
Interesting observation about straw and hay being difficult for his chickens to rummage through. I’d still take those materials over wood chips, but I’ve seen wood chips work a few times, even in videos I just previously posted.
I’m long overdue for some sawdust dumpster diving… time to make a video? 🙂
That pile looks crazy dense, but based on the contents he should get some results. I hope he adds food scraps and leaves.
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Here’s an excellent video on composting using huge piles… if you can compost like this, do it- it’s the easiest and yields the best stuff.