We find it easier, less smelly, in suburban environment, to have two medium
sized plastic bins. That means that you can finish loading one [eventually]
and then start on the second one, without having to figure out what to do,
how to turn over deeply unattractive stuff which was only put in the bin
recently. With the two bins together, you can also expect that worms
migrated into the first will finish work in one and go to the other [which
is what I would call a worm farm, workers drawn by attractive conditions
from all over the neighbourhood, leaving freely if pay and conditions
decline, as distinct from what is conventionally called a worm farm, but is
really a worm prison, worms brought in and locked up]. You don't of course
have to buy two compost bins at once, but if you like this idea you might
look at bins from that perspective in the hardware store.
That presumes that you have enough users, material, to fill two bins over
time. If not, then you might want to look at getting a worm farm [what I was
jestingly calling a worm prison] instead, which will be smaller, more
manipulable, producing very handy solid and liquid products for a small
garden or potplants.
The smell and fly issues are to an extent dealt with by the quality of the
bin you get or build, but also by what you put in the bin. As a rough guide,
things a dog would eat, not to be rude about dogs, are basically more likely
to cause putrefaction and stink. Also, you shouldn't put things a dog
produces into a composter, because you can't be sure that the temperature of
such a bin will destroy pathogens.
Basically, these add-scraps-as-you-go bins are different in performance from
what one would do with composting with large quantities of material in a
larger space. When you have a big space and lots of grass or hay or leaves
and manure, etc, you can make a heap of several cubic yards and by turning
that sufficiently often, every day or so, you can get the heap to a high
temperature where composting is swift and pathogen breakdown and seed
destruction are pretty comprehensive. Whereas the city garden bin, with bits
from the kitchen daily, cuttings and clippings from the garden sometimes, is
not going to be hot or fast, and is going to have to be left for quite some
time to finish its work. This is relevant to the worm question too - a high
temperature compost heap suits very specialist worms, whereas a 'cool'
compost bin attracts average garden type worms, who can escape back to the
soil, if the bin is open to the soil, if it gets too hot in the kitchen.
Our suburban bins, medium sized, their input reduced by very little grass
cutting and separation of material for dog and hens, take more than a year
to fill one bin - when the weather is warm, the temperature rises and the
level sinks away quite rapidly, especially if it's filled itself during a
cold period (worms don't mind this, they are used to going deep in hot
weather). Obviously much depends on where you live and what you have to put
in the bin.
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