garbage can compost

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by dot, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. dot

    dot Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Has anyone ever really made compost in a garbage can? Is it worth trying?
  2. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 9, 2003
    do you have a plan?

    how are you going to rotate it - strap on the lid and roll it??

    it could work, seems like too small a volume.

  3. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2004
    SW VA
    I tried one of those barrels that have a screw on lid but found it way to heavy to rotate when kept moist. Also it dried out too fast once the sun got to it. Certainly wasn't successful for me.

  4. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2002
    Yes and no....

    What I did was take an old metal garbage can and put a plastic lid on it that I could strap down. Punched SMALL holes in bottom and lid. Painted the outside all black with rustoleum (so hopefully wouldn't have to repaint too often).

    I left it standing upright in light rains, once I had a good layer of stinky stuff, I put in some powdered lime, knocked it over and rolled it a few turns, putting it upright again after. Had it on its side if it looked like a storm - the LAST thing you want is for it to be a pool in there (can get clogged even with holes on the bottom!)

    I probably let it get too wet and too hot (had no shade available) anyway, but it did stink - not so much when lid was on, but OH BOY when that lid came off!! Don't know if I would do it close to house or if neighbors would be downwind, lol.

    Took quite a while to fill as it was only kitchen stuff and garden things which bunnies/dogs and cat wouldn't eat. Can't - or at least probably shouldn't put meat in there (I never did, anyway), and bones get burned and tossed straight into garden - the ones the dogs can't have.

    leaves, grass clippings etc would have helped a ton, but the bunnies get the grass, and the leaves are used for mulch, so had none to spare for composting, lol!

    I never got to use it, cause we moved, but it was good black 'earth' when we left, so would have been useful. Still - nothing like learning your lessons the hard way.... hmmm...

  5. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2002
    My daughter did this at the house she rented in college...worked great. Just had a regular dollar store trash can,punched some holes around the top, used a bungie cord to keep the lid on and they had some good compost...leaves, grass clippings and their kitchen waste that they whirled in the blender to make it decompose faster. She also had a big garden in front of their porch and cukes climbing the railing...can't take the country out of the girl!!! Everywhere she has rented she's managed some kind of garden; someday she'll come home to the farm. DEE
  6. 59classic

    59classic Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    I havent tried this but I have heard of people doing 'passive' garbage can composting. Only they punch holes in the can and then bury it up to the lid. They don't rotate it so it takes a lot longer to decompose. And of course, you would have to dig the stuff out of the can when it was done and also have to dig to bury the can. Seems like a lot of work.
  7. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2003
    NW IL
    punch holes in botton and in sides. secure the top with a bungie strap. Add materials to compost. Roll on it's side every few days. Worked well for us. We have a couple piles of compost now that gets turned infrequently. Doesn't compost as fast as the garbage can compost, but I have too much material to use a garbage can anymore. Mostly I sheet compost (hay & manure) in the early spring (like now) and till under in May.