Instructables
The complete idiot's guide to low-cost, low-maintenance, and high-reward composting.
 
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Step 1: What you DON"T need

Well, I personally think that -ibles with a first step called "What you need" are a cliche (much like Altoids tins. [A delicious cliche at that] ).
So, I'm going against the flow, not letting the man keep my head down, fighting the power, etc...
And thus, in direct contradiction to the name of this step, here is what you will need:

1) A 10 gallon plastic bucket, like the kind 3" chlorine tablets are sold in.
(If you are going to use this bucket, wash it out first. Chlorine kills living things - look it up)

2) Some starter soil. Just grab a shovel, and dig some up. Any kind will do.

3) A shovel, or some other scooping/scraping/turning device. Actually, use a shovel, because I managed to wound myself with my rusty rebar and had to get a tetanus shot. It hurt. A lot. Trust me.

4) Water. The essence of life.

5) Compost material. Leafy yard clippings, plant-based kitchen scraps, paper, eggshells, whatever.

6) Patience, patience, patience. And for those of us with problems waiting, a computer/book/family pet for your amusement,

Step 2: A necessary part of every good Instructable is...

You guessed it! A disclaimer. A disclaimer not only absolves the author (recon506) of any financial or other responsibility towards you, it is also a method of conveying one's hate for lawyers, sleezebags in suits, and other legal riff-raff that abounds in this great and economically screwed nation. (the USA)

<*cough, cough*>
The author, sole proprietor, and cynical bastard that wrote this -ible (recon506) hereby absolves himself of any responsibility (thus screwing you over) towards you, in respect to damages to life, limb, property, beloved family pet, hated sibling, your bank account, etc, etc, etc...
</*cough, cough*>


*I do not take credit for this flash video. I don't know who do give credit to. I just find it appropriate,
tincanz4 years ago
can I put my dog's poop in our compost? the manual says no meat, but the poop only used to be meat...
Babfab4 years ago
 Do you add the initial water at this point? If so, how much?
gamerguy3145 years ago
do you do anything to the bucket to help airflow, like drill holes, or no?
recon506 (author)  gamerguy3145 years ago
Sorry about the delayed reply, I've been busy with some personal matters. I wouldn't drill holes in the bucket mostly because it would facilitate loss of water. If you are looking for increased airflow just stir the compost once every week or six days, but avoid stirring it more frequently as the that would actually deter the breakdown of whatever delicious kitchen scraps you throw in there.
 Are you sure about this? I would think (IMHO) that more stirring (and oxygen) helps bacteria get in contact with every part of the organic matter, thus speeding up the process. I would even cut the tippings you put in the bucket in small pieces to help decomposition. And let as much air as possible in the bucket, to avoid anaerobic conditions ( = bad smell).

Anyway, I haven't tried this myself yet, so I don't really know.
Does anyone know how to make a cheap compost aerator for under $20.00? Please help also the city of gilbert is giving out free earth machine composters will post instructable about that soon, so is the City of Tempe but they just reuse old collection bins and drill aeration holes but its still Free!
GroovyGuru6 years ago
List of things needed, #5, plant based kitchen waste, like eggshells... Really, 4 months for a 10 gallon bucket? I have several old 30+ gallon garbage cans I was going to use, but if you tell me these things are going to have to sit a year...maybe I'll come up with something else...
The ideal size according to permaculture standards is a cubic metre of compost, which heats up real nice and should be ready in a month if turned weekly....also to kick it along you can piss in it...yes thats right urinate in your compost and add some rabbit, horse, cow, or various other poo....herbs such as comfrey, tansey and yarrow are what they call compost activators...catalysts for compost.....now go get cranking for the ultimate in composting check out the jean pain method
recon506 (author)  GroovyGuru6 years ago
I don't think the volume of the compost matters as much as you think. This is mainly due to the fact that the ratio of material to bacteria is still the same, just proportionally larger. So, a 30 gallon bucket with proper care will indeed take as much time as my 10 gallon bucket. Thanks for commenting! -recon506
jandles5 years ago
At a local land fill they take the green waste and pile it 20ft high and put a lawn sprinkler on the top. The piles steam and they turn them with a front end loader! After 4 months they bag it and sell it or the local authority use it on the public gardens! The temp in the heaps gets very high and kills all the seeds and weeds. I believe!! Long live compost!
I used to work in just such a yard. One night be parked the front end loader with one of its front tires pressed into the pile. Result? 3am fire brigade arrive to a call and discover front end loader engulfed in flames. The heat has ignited the rubber tire and set it smoldering. Once some diesel got hot enough, off it went.. Compost is dangerous - never ever park your car on top of your compost bin! EVER!
I can't park on compost?!? There goes that business opportunity!
I know! Its tough to get ahead these days.. I'm struggling to get finance for my under property development too. I can't understand it - something seems to have changed in the sub prime end of the market..
are you sure that's not a 5 gallon bucket?
Solderguy5 years ago
Too bad my compost turned out wrong. It's watery,moldy and can kill all the olfactory glands in a 2 square mile radius.
recon506 (author)  Solderguy5 years ago
That happened to mine too, and it being a rainy AZ winter I couldn't leave it outside with the lid off to dry out. So I drilled a 1/4" hole in the lid and placed the bucket upside down on a frame about a foot off the ground. The water drips out and the compost stays inside. So now voila! Dry (healthily dry that is) compost!
xd12c5 years ago
I'm pretty sure the flash video is from Lemon Demon.
Tommy37446 years ago
Any of you guys know how to increase the temperature of the compost?
recon506 (author)  Tommy37446 years ago
My advice to you - don't bother. The bacteria will heat up the compost themselves when they are ready, thus artificially raising the temperature will cause them to make a frowny face and die.
Thank you for the advice.
what is up with that video that is random...
recon506 (author)  unbentcrayfish6 years ago
I guess I just put it up to show my disdain for lawyers and the like. (If you remember, there is a part in the video where lawyers were referred to as male prostitutes...)