Monday, June 29, 2009

Compost Update

I have to say, I'm proud of and disappointed in my big environmental purchase...all at the same time.

A few months ago, I purchased the EcoCycle Composter in an effort to divert food scraps and yard clippings from the landfill. By purchasing a composter, I could recycle vegetable shavings, apple cores, banana peels, leaves and lawn clippings and turn them into soil to be re-used in flower pots and beds in my yard. What's more, I would no longer have to purchase potting soil, saving myself cash every spring planting season.

I did extensive research before my big purchase and read customer reviews suggesting the success of diverting a bag of trash from the garbage pail each week! I was so encouraged by this - think of the difference I could make each week!

Here is a pic of the EcoCycle Composter I purchased:

While I benefits of this composter far outweigh the negatives, I wanted to share some of the pros and cons I've experienced in case any of you are intersted in purchasing one:

PROS

  • Appearance: The compost bin blends well with the backyard landscape.

  • Containment of Smell: When composting, you have to turn the material at least 3x a week to prevent foul smells and to help the compost break down. Turning the compost can be a yucky job as materials begins to decompose; fruit flies and bugs are a plenty! The EcoCycle has no odor at all - a big plus. You'd never even know there was compost in there!
  • Ease: Because the composter is on wheels, it's easy to rotate the compost by turning the wheel base. You never have to stick your hand inside to turn the material ... a definite perk!

  • Liquid Compost: Due to the design, liquid from the compost drains into the base, providing a concentrated fertilizer. (Although, I haven't attempted to get the fertilizer out of the base - I'm assuming I'll need some assistance as the composter iteself is heavy and full of soil). This is basically the equivilant of Miracle Grow fertilizer - which saves money and is more environmentall friendly.

  • Lid: The EcoCycle has a latchable lid on top so you can easily watch the progress of your compost. When you're ready to use the soil, you can simply roll the ball to the desired location and dump the soil through the lid

  • Animals Stay Away: The lid prevents animals from bothering the compost. Haven't had any problems ... and that's saying a ton in my animal farm backyard.

CONS

  • The Waiting Game: I starting composting in April, and I have yet to see the fruits of my labor. The compost is breaking down, but it takes at least 45-90 days. Maybe longer depending on outdoor temperature (compost needs to be over 100 degrees to cook)

  • The Diversion of Well, Nothing: In April, I quickly filled my compost bin with leaves and grass clippings from my yard clean up this spring. Because the bin filled so quickly, I had to "close the lid" and let the compost cook down. So, I haven't diverted any food scraps from my kitchen and I'm still sending my grass clippings with the garbage man. Diversion of 1 trash bag per week from the landfill ... yeah, not so much.

  • Cost: The EcoCycle was $150. In an ideal situation, I'd purchase a second composter so I could have one cooking and another to fill up. But, it's too expensive of an investment as of now. Plus, I have a small yard so I can't have composters sitting around everywhere!

Here is a pic of my compost to date. In a few more weeks, I should be able to save this compost for spring planting next year and begin to make another batch of compost. I don't regret buying a composter by any means, I just didn't realize it would take so long to make! All in love for Mother Earth.

2 comments:

  1. Do you really have enough time to take a picture of cooked dirt?

    ReplyDelete