The Hows and Whys About Compost BinsBy Al Paterson
Why garden compost bins are a must for every household
Composting is an ongoing natural process whereby living organisms such as fungi, bacteria insects and mould feed on and break down organic matter. As part of this process, these organisms effectively rearrange your organic waste so that it can be absorbed back into your garden. This process is facilitated through garden compost bins.
Ever wondered how you can do the right thing when it comes to the environment? Have you thought about composting and how you can positively impact landfill and greenhouses gases? Here is some useful information about composting and how to choose the right compost bin for you.
There are many different types of garden compost bins and whichever type you have, you've made a good start towards helping the environment. You see, the reason every household should have a garden compost bin is because every piece of house and garden waste we recycle reduces our landfill problems. Those problems include the hefty costs of a failure to recycle - costs that include the costs of moving your waste to a landfill (which is typically borne by a local Council) as well as the cost of locating additional landfill sites as they rapidly fill with material that could be recycled.
Compost bins - why heat matters
The best garden compost bins are those that stay warm and are well aerated - because warmth and aeration encourages aerobic bacteria to breed and aggressively tackle organic matter, breaking it down into rich nutrient that can be reapplied to your garden as mulch or garden compost food.
Aerobic bacteria are important because they produce less odour and fewer destructive green house gases than their anaerobic counterparts. Secondly, they are usually faster at breaking down material and obviously the faster material is broken down, the faster you get nourishment for your garden.
You can keep your garden compost bin warm in a couple of ways - either through leaving it in direct sunlight (but be sure it doesn't dry out) or by using a compost bin that is designed to stay warm by itself.
Garden compost bins - why insulation is important
Many people make the mistake of using rigid plastic bins as their garden compost bins. While these bins are practical from the point of view that they keep pesky rodents out of the garden compost, they are impractical because they do not typically insulate the compost bin against heat loss. Once the garden compost goes cold, the activity of aerobic bacteria is significantly adversely affected. In fact, it generally stops altogether and people get disillusioned about composting.
So don't let this be you - since composting is good for the environment in many ways. When choosing a compost bin, choose one that offers you the best possible insulation properties. With heat, and a bit of dampness, your garden compost will kick along very nicely.
How to choose the right garden compost bin
When it comes to composting, there are various options for composting containers. Some people just create a compost pile in the garden somewhere, while others build their own from recycled materials. Then there are a number of commercial garden compost bins on the market.
When choosing the right garden compost bin for you, here are the questions you should ask:
1. How much kitchen and garden organic composting material do I have? This of course determines the size of the garden compost bin that is best suited to you.
2. What's my budget? Garden compost bins vary in price and some of the more expensive garden compost bins deliver poorer performance than their cheaper counterparts.
3. How much effort do I want to put into my garden compost? If the answer is very little (or none at ll) you will need a system that self aerates and heats/dampens the garden compost.
Stay tuned for more handy tips about how to compost or check out other parts of our website for information about garden compost bins.
Alan Paterson is the Managing Director of Compost Oven Pty Ltd, Australia's leading supplier of hot composting solutions. Do the right thing by the environment and talk to us about compost bins today.