Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Change the World Wednesday - composting

Little ol' me actually suggested the topic for this week, which is on composting.  I've been wanting to compost for awhile but just haven't (for various reasons, #1 being that I procrastinate). I've gone as far as to look online for compost bins, only to find that the ones that seem to work the best or that I seem to like the most are well over $100.

So then I went on a search to find out how to make my own. I don't really want to build one out of wood.  I don't know why. Seriously I don't, I just know I don't want to.  I'm also not sure where the best spot is to put it in our yard since there aren't any fences.  That means it's either going to be out in the open calling attention to itself or near the house (and I read that's not the best option because of the bugs it attracts).

I found one post on a blog, and now I can't find it again. I hate when that happens.  However I meant to save it because it show show to start one out of a rubber maid storage bin.  Those are rather in-expensive, less than $10.  I immediately wanted to do this, but what held me back was spending the money on a perfectly good bin only to drill holes in it and use it for compost.  However I haven't been able to find any used ones since.

Today in an effort to finally come up with a game plan, I found this video on how to make a compost bin out of a garbage can. I love this idea because it's so much easier to roll a garbage can around instead of trying to mix stuff in a square rubber maid container.   Again, the issue is that a new trash can costs more than a rubber maid container would.  Now, several of our trash cans have huge holes in the bottom and I would like to replace them, and I wondered if one of these would work. However they have wheels on them and would not be sturdy.   Dilemma's Dilemma's!   Oh..I just looked on Craig's List and there was one trash can listed for $5. This would be the much better option since I would be re-using something that somebody is trying to get rid of. It would save me money and would save something from the landfill.

Upon doing even more checking on the internet, I found that some sites say you can start small, even with a plastic pail that is at least 24 inches tall.  It makes me mad that last year I had the perfect pail, but I recycled it.  We have an in-ground pool and had a big pail full of chlorine tablets.  At the end of last summer last year we converted to a salt water pool and have no need for those chlorine tabs any longer so I have no hopes of getting another pail like t hat.  grrrrrr    I do know we have some pails around the house that we have used, but I don't think any have lids.  I'm going to go on a search though.  If I can find one and find a lid, then I'm all set!  I think this would be perfect for me too because I can easily move it around the yard if needed. I can easily put it on it's side and roll it around to mix up the waste. It won't be a huge unsightly mess.  If I mess up..the clean up won't be too bad.    Plus, as I fill one pail and wait for it to be used as compost, I could easily start the process over again with another.  Eureka! I could eventually have one that is currently being added to and compost is being made and one that has already turned to compost and is ready to use.

So there you have it!  This post was going to be about how to start composting, with the idea of using a rubber maid container but quickly became a post regarding a couple different ways to make a compost bin, with my pluses and minuses about each one, until I finally find the one that works best for me.   Now that I've decided on the pail option, I'm super excited to get started!

Duh..just thought of another one.  Paint sometimes comes in big pails, gallon drums I believe,..and I think I recycled the ones the previous owners left us last year.  Why oh why didn't I see the potential of it before I did that?  I do think I'll be checking the garage and basement for possible items to use this weekend, or possibly tonight now that I'm excited about it.

I also think I'll email some relatives to see if they have a pail that would work, if I don't find one around my house.  Another option would be to wait till spring and talk to my neighborhood home owners association.  There is a subdivision pool and I bet it hasn't been converted to salt water yet.  When it's time to renew the pool tabs I could ask to see if they have any of the pails and if I could have one or two.

I'm so excited!  Who knew that composting would get me this excited? Don't tell my husband.


  1. Great post, Kris ... thanks for both suggesting our challenge and for giving us the pros and cons of various bins. Here's another idea for finding one ... check out freecycle ( in your area ... reusable pails, bins, etc. are exactly the kind of thing one might find there.

    I hope you'll give us an update once you get everything going! :)

  2. Oh..freecycle...that's a good idea! I'll be sure to post an update once I'm able to make a compost bin.