Plastic garbage can for composter

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by suehi, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. suehi

    suehi Active Member

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    Can I use a plastic garbage can for a composter until it get something else going? It is on the back of my porch close to my kitchen. I have scraps left over all the time and I need to start now, otherwise I will have to throw the scraps away. How do you keep the insects from taking over when composting anyway? I can't just throw it on the ground either because I am renting right now. I just hate to see all those egg shells, fruit and veggie peels go to waste.


    Suehi
     
  2. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you gardening at all? You could bury the stuff in your garden.

    Or you could indeed use your plastic garbage can. :)

    I used to toss a little dirt in mine with the stuff, put the lid on, and shake it occasionally.

    Good luck!

    Pony!
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    my neighbor completed a master gardener program and likes to compost. i was a bit surprised at how she composts grass clippings. she puts them in a garbage bag and ties it shut. she lets them sit under her pine tree until the spring and has nice compost in every bag.
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    That will ALMOST work! What's missing is that there also must be some holes in that garbage bag. Whether aerobic or anaerobic composting is involved, grass is still roughly 90% water. As an example, 100 pounds of grass would contain around 10 gallons of water. That would have to get out of that bag somehow or it would break down to a putrid soup! Just needs a few holes on top so that some of the water escapes by evaporation and oxygen can get in. Several small holes on the bottom side assure that the material remains damp but not sodden. Otherwise, the "grass in a bag" thing does indeed work!

    As for the success of composting in a garbage can, the 30-gallon Rubbermaid containers are becoming the poor man's Earth Machine! Punch a dozen half-inch holes in the bottom and then several dozen more up the side. It becomes a passive composter with everything rotting at an accelerated pace. It's perfect for someone who only generates maybe a gallon of kitchen scraps per week. After a few months, the bottom is really breaking down good but something must be done. Then a second container is prepared the same way. Everything in first one is dumped into second one to work from the bottom up.

    Martin
     
  5. al

    al Well-Known Member

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    We did this ,one time, a long time ago, when in a rental, and it worked perfectly, after I corrected my mistakes. The first one I made I put holes in the bottom,sides, and top. The rain kept it too wet so it rotted and smelled pretty bad. got a new lid for the tub, and left it with no holes in it,(the lid) and had some of the best compost I've ever made.
    Al
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Remember that whatever vegetable kitchen scraps you add is also the same 90% or so water as grass. As Al found, you don't need a lot of rainwater messing up the works. The holes around the side are sufficient aeration for passive decomposition and to allow the methane gases to escape.

    Martin
     
  7. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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