How big a bin?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: How big a bin?
Author: Joe (Joe)
Saturday, May 03, 2014 - 9:03 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Pahinh - put 4 pallets on end and connect them together to make a bin. Put 18" of weeds, straw, hay or leaves in the bottom. Dump your organic material there and keep it covered with the straw, etc. That's all you have to do.

Author: Pahinh (Pahinh)
Thursday, May 01, 2014 - 4:42 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

I am one person living alone in the country. I have a composting toilet, tumbler style, which I built, but even with a heater, it froze this winter. Now I have several 4-5 - gallon buckets, lined with trash bags, full of compostable material from the loo. I don't want to make "a" heap outdoors; I want it to go back in the tumbler. Has anyone got any ideas on how to get the heat up? It is cold in my basement all year (high water table), but even with insulation and a heater, I don't want to go thru this again. Thanks for any ideas.

Author: 3redgeraniums (3redgeraniums)
Monday, April 07, 2014 - 8:30 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Thanks Ecointerest for directing me to the Haiti videos.

Author: 3redgeraniums (3redgeraniums)
Monday, April 07, 2014 - 8:25 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Thanks Ecointerest for directing me to the Haiti videos.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Monday, March 17, 2014 - 11:04 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Sorry, I've been out of the country and haven't been checking the board. 4' compost bin walls are not necessary. Build them as high as is comfortable for you.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 1:50 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

3redgeraniums, hope you don't mind me butting in here, before Joe answers, if you are able to look at the video which was made by GiveLove in Haiti, where Joe was inspecting their installation at the Amurt School, you will see that their compost bins are not very high, only about the height of your kitchen table.
Those bins heat up very well, as shown in the video. So you don't need to have the walls too high for comfort.
Of equal importance is having a good balance of cover materials and humanure. Too much cover material without an adequate amount of urine will tend to keep the heap cooler, likewise if the heap gets too dry.

Author: 3redgeraniums (3redgeraniums)
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 9:27 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Joe, I'm going to build a hacienda. Only one person will be using it. I am only 5 ft tall and concerned that 4 ft walls will be difficult for me to handle.

Can I build a smaller bin ( with lower walls) and still have it function properly?
Debra

Author: Bruces (Bruces)
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 11:23 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

[No profile available] Edit this post

Thanks Joe. After watching all the videos and your comment regarding mass of the pile, I have decided to go the pallet route with bins of ~3 1/2 feet square. I'll monitor the temperatures of my existing 55 gal kitchen scraps bin and my new larger humanure/kitchen scraps pallet bin and report back here in about 6 months.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 11:57 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

There was a study done in one of the composting journals a couple years ago where they had a big pile of organic material dumped and they took some and filled various commercial compost containers to see how they would heat up. None of them heated up. The "solar" one got warmest, but not thermophilic (i.e. the temperature was not being generated by internal microorganisms). However, the pile dumped on the ground did heat up. This suggests that mass plays an important role in maintaining compost temperatures.

Author: Bruces (Bruces)
Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 8:46 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

[No profile available] Edit this post

I just built and used my first humanure toilet per the instructions in the Humanure Handbook - so exciting!

I've been composting kitchen scraps and yard leaves in a plastic 55 gallon drum for several years and would like to add additional drums plus humanure to the compost. The size of the drums is really convenient for the compost area in my yard and I have access to lots of them.

My concern is that I wouldn't have the large buffer area of cover materials around the sides like I see in your videos. I suspect a 5 gallon humanure deposit will likely fill to the edges of the drum. For now it will be kitchen scraps for two and humanure for one. I am in the Atlanta area so we don't have many really cold days. Do you believe this will work and achieve the thermophilic temperatures desired? I plan to cut the bottom out the drum and add buffer materials to the bottom to start.

Thanks for the great ideas for preventing "waste".

Author: Ken (Ken)
Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 6:01 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

I agree with Nancy. I have three bins of the size she speaks of. This is my 13th year of composting this way.

Author: Nancybeetoo (Nancybeetoo)
Friday, December 20, 2013 - 12:52 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

[No profile available] Edit this post

Hi Fidmine,

Based on my experience, you will need 2 or 3 bins made from pallets- about 4 feet on a side. Don't skimp on capacity when you are just starting and learning. More capacity will allow you to give each filled bin more time to age and mature.

Nancy (8 years and loving my compost)

Author: Fidmine (Fidmine)
Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 4:25 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

How large of a bin should I build? It will be for
1-2 people at the most.

Author: Sally (Sally)
Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 2:30 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

[No profile available] Edit this post

Thanks.... that gives me a good starting point.

I've been through the photos on the site but not tried the videos yet.... (the computer didn't run them easily so I left it.... )

I find the flush loo irritates me now - the thought of all that valuable stuff disappearing to the septic tank!

I've been telling my students for years about the problem of human waste - I always bring it in with the nitrogen cycle and explain how our bit of the cycle doesn't! Now I'll have more to say on the matter! :-)

Sally

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 2:12 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

The bin we use is about 1.25 meters square and about a little over a meter high. We used it for six people for a while, but that strained it to capacity. We do compost our kitchen materials, garden materials and yard materials in the same bin too, however (which is good). People who are composting for larger groups may use a series of bins. Some are shown on our website at http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/photo_albums/bin_album/index.htm

By the way, you can now see short video clips of our bins at http://jenkinspublishing.com/videos.html

Author: Sally Burch (Sally)
Friday, May 02, 2008 - 5:35 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Hello.

I am hoping to set this system up in N.Ireland for a family of six (well, one contributor to start with but I believe other family members will co-operate once things get started)...

So the same question really. What size of bin would you recommend?

I have pallets I can use to build the bins, and old hay as cover material. I have yet to source the sawdust, but think this should not be a problem.

I have read the book - fascinating reading - and am now feeling inspired!

Thanks in advance

Sally

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 1:57 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Hi Al, Joe. I have been using several store-bought 30"h x 36" dia. abs plastic compost bins perforated with large air holes. I am a single user and add a 5 gal. bucket about every 7-10 days along with leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen garbage. With continuous thermophylic digestion (southern Ca. climate), it takes about about 6-7 months to fill a bin, so using the safe 2 year waiting period before use requires about 5 similar size bins on hand before the first one can be emptied and re-used.

At my rate of pile input, a 4 foot square bin would probably go a full year before filling, thereby requiring only 3 bins, so if one has the room, the bigger bin size would probably be more efficient.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 12:15 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

A 3' wire bin may work. The trick will be to keep enough cover material stuffed around the outside edges to prevent material from leaking out.

Author: Al Chase (Uncleal)
Friday, April 18, 2008 - 10:24 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Thanks, Joe. Depending on how many leaves she put in, and the size of the pallets, that could be a much bigger compost pile than I'm hoping to get by with. If I made a chicken wire cyclinder 3 feet in diameter, would that be enough volume, once I got some depth, to generate good heat?

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Friday, April 18, 2008 - 9:24 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

I should add that she was in the city - houses spaced every 20 feet.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Friday, April 18, 2008 - 9:23 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

A lady friend of mine set up a humanure toilet in her home and used it only herself (her husband refused - they're now divorced). She made simple pallet bins and got old, rotted leaves from the municipality for cover material in the bins and had feed sacks of sawdust for cover in the toilet. The pallet bins were four pallets set up on edge and tied together to make a square bin. Her compost was reaching very high temperatures for a backyard pile - 130 degrees F. She had to wait a while before it started developing temperatures - maybe 6 weeks. All her kitchen scraps went in the bins too.

Author: Al Chase (Uncleal)
Friday, April 18, 2008 - 8:41 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Greetings. I'm new here and new to composting. I live alone, and plan to compost my pee and poop and a small amount of food scraps. Just filled my first bucket. Amazing how exciting such a thing can be! It's looking like I'll have about 4 gal (a mostly full 5-gal bucket) every 5 to 7 days, plus or minus.

A) How big a bin should I make, assuming I want to add to one bin for a year and then let that sit and start filling a second bin?

B) Are there problems with maintaining enough heat with a small volume of compost? Does it make sense to insulate the walls of the bin to help keep heat in? Here in San Francisco, night time lows rarely get below 40F, highs over 85F are infrequent.

Many thanks in advance.

-- Al

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics Profile Last Day Last Week Search Tree View Member List Log Out     Administration
Topics Profile Last Day Last Week Search Tree View Member List Log Out   Administration
Welcome to The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board
For assistance, read the instructions or contact us.
Powered by Discus Pro
http://www.discusware.com