Composter completed and in service

Post date: Jan 21, 2014

Take 1 blue barrel, cut a door in 1 end, add hinges and a bolt, and start papercreting the whole outside... (ah, I used old square fire fence around the barrel first - to make it easier for the papercrete to stick to) Papercrete = newspaper and cement blended with water:

barrel bottom and sides papercreted

Add a bucket of papercrete at a time:

Easy to add papercrete

After about 10 or 12 buckets it's done. For the last 2 buckets add some sand to the papercrete mix - this makes the outside harder. After the composter was well dried, I painted and sprayed linseed oil on it to repel water (spraying worked best). The drum sits on rollers, but does not roll easily - too heavy and 'lopsided' when there is food waste inside. It would be better mounted from the two ends with the door in the middle (if I get frustrated by this I will roll across the lawn somewhere!). Last of all I pinned on some old mosquito net to keep some of the flies out and food in (not seen in this photo).

Completed composter on rollers

I added 2 buckets of strawberries, 1 of kitchen waste, 3 of mushrooms, 4 or 5 of sawdust. After 2 full days, the temperature is already very hot inside - I estimate 60 something degrees C. I will monitor the moisture inside and add more sawdust if there is liquid in the bottom. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to finish (gauged by when the temperature remains ambient)...