Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Worthwhile Wednesday- Compost Trashcan

This year we added some new members to our family- feathered ones that is...

Now that we've started with some backyard chickens (more to come later), we've got a lot of litter around.  So that begs the question, what do you do with chicken droppings??

Enter composting!

I was introduced to composting when I was little.  My dad composted our leaves, food scraps, etc.  As I grew I didn't really participate in it.  But when I knew we were going to get chickens, I knew I had to dispose of their droppings somehow.

So I began to search online and then later in a local class. All information pointed to composting. In fact, chicken droppings make some of the best compost there is.

Only thing, my hubby doesn't have a ton of time to build me a composting bin. Now being trained by my daddy, I could probably build one myself given enough time. But with two little ones underfoot, who has extra time??

So what's a family to do? Trash it!

Literally, grab a trash can and a drill. I picked one up from Lowe's and spaced out about 25 holes around the body and lid. (the one below is not mine, but looks exactly like mine)

Photo Credit: Trashfreeyear

Easy Peasy!

Then I elevated it, for proper air circulation, on two bricks. Now you're set to compost. Great for limited space too.

Now composting can be an art if you want it to be. I like things simple though.

So after reading the science and talking to some experienced composters, I came up with my own little system. Nothing new, mind you, but these are my rules.

I start with a bit of dirt and then I alternate brown and green layers. I follow these up with a bit of dirt.

Brown items: leaves, straw, sawdust, newspaper, yard waste, cardboard, dry glass clippings
-These are high in carbon/low in nitrogen. Make sure to not use treated lumber in your compost!

Green items: fresh grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, hair, livestock manure, coffee grounds, tea bags
-These are high in nitrogen/low in carbon.

Every week (at the least) or couple days (preferred) we mix it. At first we rolled the trash can. After it got so full, we turned it with a shovel.

Make sure to turn, and it will be hot. That's the side effect of decomposing. If it's too wet add more brown items and be careful with food items as you can attract flies. But if you are properly layering, this is no issue.

Verdict: so far great!

-And easy way to compost that was cheap and had minimal labor.

-Not to mention how little room it takes. Small yard, no problem!

-I don't have to carry off chicken droppings.

-We've reduced our waste significantly! Which means fewer trash bags. Fewer trash bags means more money in our pockets.

-Again the more you compost the less trash. Less trash = less in landfills = better for our kids' futures!

-Finally, in about a month we'll have beautiful black compost for our garden. You have to love that!!

So what's not to like? Grab a can!

This has been a part of Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #29.

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