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Old 08-28-2012, 06:25 PM
Location: Newport, ME
276 posts, read 755,344 times
Reputation: 125


I have been composting in a trash can for a few years now and it is very hard to turn and get the compost out since we keep adding to it. I have been looking online at Home Depot for a plastic one to get the job done quicker and with my limited budget found two that I would serve the purpose and based on the reviews seem pretty good. Does anyone have experience with either one of these?

Forest City Models and Patterns Ltd. Tumbling Composter With Two Chambers For Efficient Batch Composting Model # IM 4000


Lifetime 65 gal. Compost Tumbler (8.69 Cubic Feet) Model # 60028

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Old 08-28-2012, 09:53 PM
Location: MidCoast Maine
476 posts, read 623,466 times
Reputation: 311
Hi Mainer,

I have been composting using a tumbler for a number of years. There are a couple of things to consider. Mine is all one chamber so it takes a while if you keep adding fresh stuff. It is best to have another composter or trash can where you can store green waste while the tumbler is working. I don't turn mine every day, so it probably doesn't create compost as fast as it could if I was more diligent.

The tumbler can get quite heavy if you fill it about half way, so depending on your strength, consider how much to include in each batch.

My last comment is something you might want to check at the store before purchasing one of the two models. My composter is suspended on metal legs, but a wheel barrow doesn't fit under it, so it makes it a little difficult to empty when you are ready to use the compost.

I am able to prop it precariously on the edge of the wheel barrow and use a garden fork to scrape the contents into the wheel barrow.

All things considered, it is much easier than the trash can method, that I also used for years, until the trash can rusted through. It is also much easier than the ones that have to be stirred or forked everyday. I've tried those as well.

I hope you find a good one and it produces plenty of compost for you.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:44 AM
Location: Kronenwetter, Wis
448 posts, read 1,002,715 times
Reputation: 275
I know you're looking for a tumbler review, but just thought I'd pass on how I do it, with bins.

I have 2 regular - made for composting - bins. They are circular, black, 28" high and 32" in diameter. The wider width makes it easier to turn with a fork. They go for about $50 a piece but I picked up my second one (identical to first one) on Craigs List for $20.

I keep adding "stuff" to one and when it gets almost, not quite, 1/2 full, I leave it sit (stirring occasionally and keeping it moist/wet) and start adding/using the empty extra one. By the time the extra one gets to be about 1/2 full, the other one is ready to use. If you want, you can just lift the bin up and all the compost material is exposed, (they do not have bottoms) or you can scoop out that black gold by the shovel full as needed.

The key point here, is by having 2 bins and by only filling them 1/2 full (or less) it is easier to turn with a pitch fork.
(and the first bin can be used as a storage unit if you don't want to use all the material right away)
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:30 PM
393 posts, read 823,743 times
Reputation: 297
I got my composting bin at Lowes. It's made by Keter. It's not the greatest, but it was as cheap as they come and I've had it for 3 years now with no wear and tear. It does the job. It doesn't tumble, but as long as you add some dead leaves every so often, I haven't had to mix it. After two years of stewing I used it this Spring in my garden. I am satisfied.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:50 PM
Location: Newport, ME
276 posts, read 755,344 times
Reputation: 125
My trash can bin as been "stewing" for about 2 years and while I stir it as best I can I usually shovel it out into smaller bins and remix it back in. It is a lot of work but looks good and black with very little food that is identifiable, just what has been put in recently. I thought about buying a couple of the smaller trash cans, like 20 gal, but I didn't want a lot of cans in the yard since we already have 2 trash cans.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:59 AM
1,253 posts, read 1,841,847 times
Reputation: 2539
Sorry for stupid question, but why do you need a bin or tumbler? I just have a pile and throw the garden waste along with kitchen scraps. I stir it with a pitchfork. It works, plus I don't worry about drainage or anything.
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