I created a compost system for a 2 person household in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. I wanted the system to be simple easy to use and made from things around the home. The upkeep of this system is straightforward. There are links provided to help troubleshoot and learn more about making your own compost
Background[edit | edit source]
In this household there are 2 people who cummulate a fair amount of green waste and yard trimmings along with food scraps from the kitchen. One major concern was deer being able to access the bin, and a want was for quick compost turnover with ease. This was the reasoning for the 2 bin method that would not only insulate but allow for airflow to get to the compost from all corners. This is a very easy to do project with things one may have laying around the house!
Criteria[edit | edit source]
|Accessibility||System should be easily built and used by anyone in the household. It also should be hassle free to clean, turn and move around the yard.||9|
|Functionality||Able to take in compost from a home that cooks often so has plenty of food scraps as well as garden and lawn waste. Stands up to midwest climate. Keeps food scraps away from deer and squirrels.||10|
|Appropriate||Use materials that were around the house as a quick daytime project and also materials that would otherwise be considered waste. Minimizes cost.||10|
|Move-ablitiy||This system is not needed to last a long time but rather should be able to be deconstructed quickly in case of winter storms or discontinuing the project.||8|
Construction[edit | edit source]
Materials[edit | edit source]
These are the materials used to complete this project along with their costs.
|Quantity||Material||Source||Cost ($)||Total ($)|
|3||18 gallon storage bin w/ lids||Walmart||4.50||9.00|
|2||Paper bags||Grocery store||0.00||0.00|
|1||Roll of duct tape||Walmart||4.99||4.99|
|1||6 pack of bungee cords||Target||7.99||7.99|
How to Build[edit | edit source]
Instructional Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eNUjfspdkk
Maintenance[edit | edit source]
A guide to maintain and operate the stacked bin composting system.
- For a more in depth guide to composting, check out this link: CCAT compost system 2020/Literature review
Schedule[edit | edit source]
- Turning compost (3-7 days/week)
- Adding food scraps and browns (carbon materials) as needed
- Checking temperature and moisture
- When enough compost has accumulated, stop adding food scraps and continue turning and monitoring temperature and ratios.
- Harvest finished compost
- Possible cleaning of bins
- Cleaning of bins
Troubleshooting[edit | edit source]
From the first design to the second, these were some adjustments I made. I also made a flow chat to help figure out what is wrong with your compost and how to fix it.
|Compost not decomposing||compost not heating, add insulation in first bin|
|Compost is smelly||add holes for aeration, be sure carbon to nitrogen ratios are good.|
|Animals getting into the bin||secure with bungee cords, if smaller pests like rats are your problem look into purchasing vermin mesh and enclosing system in that.|
- To quickly troubleshoot composting issues, check out this link: https://www.appropedia.org/File:Compost_flowchat_diagnostic(2).jpg
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
An at home composting system is achievable for just about anybody who has the desire. With trial and error of what works best for you, it can be easy to create a compost system that is tailored to your climate and needs.