Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Hard Way to Toss a Compost Bin

I recently posted that we will be cutting down some trees. Welp, we had to move a lot of things before any cutting could take place and, unfortunately, the compost bin was one of them. And wouldn't ya know, it is full and is 'working' right now. I was pretty bummed about having to move it.

I have an Earth Machine plastic composter. Its name is R2, because it reminds me of R2D2 in shape and size. I have posted about it several times, please click on the tag 'composting' (below) for more information.

I had a great idea. Why not just flip the composter up on its lid, keeping the compost in the bin? The lid of my composter has a handle that I thought would be perfect to use as a ski so I could easily pull it down the hill, then flip it back when I got it to its new home. Easy, right?

I got it flipped just fine. As you can see in the first picture it is standing on its head easily enough.

However, when I tried to move it, the ski dug into the soft dirt under the tree and the composter came appart. It didn't break, it is made in 2 pieces and can be put together pretty easily. But it made a mess and more work for me.


I took the bottom half and put it in its new home. I also took the loose 'browns,' or dried materials (in this case, the dead tomato vines from last year and some other dead and dried material) and put them in place to give the composter some shade during the later part of the day, when the sun would be able to hit it. If the composter gets too hot, it can cook the insects and worms working inside, and we don't want that.

I successfully moved the top half with some compost in it down the yard to the new home. The ski worked!

The remaining 2/3 of the compost I moved with a large canvas yard bag in 2 loads. It was a little heavy, and dumping it in the composter was fun, but it worked.

Later in the week, Matt and I moved the 2nd wire compost bin down beside the first. I have two bins working at a time now. R2 is now in 'working' mode so I can't add anything new to it, so I'm adding stuff to the wire one instead. Moving the wire one went very similar to moving the plastic one: shoveling, raking, etc.

The up side of all this moving and raking and shoveling is that the compost got tossed, which you have to do weekly when your composter is in 'working' mode.

I wouldn't recommend this method at all, though.

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