Composting Drum / Conserving Valuable Resources
Composting, often described as nature’s way of recycling, is the biological process of breaking up of organic waste such as food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, worms, and coffee grounds, etc., into an extremely useful humus-like substance by various micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes in the presence of oxygen.
Actinomycetes are similar to fungus in the way they grow and spread, but its distinguishing elements are that the types of materials they are efficient at decomposing. The active nature in this microscopic bacteria and the sheer number present (about 10 million per 1 gram of soil), make them highly effective at breaking down materials like tree bark, newspaper, and other hard organic material.
Today, the use of composting to turn organic wastes into a valuable resource is expanding rapidly in many countries, as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people become more aware of the impact they have on the environment.
Composting Drum / Jumping on the Composting Bandwagon
Composting has gained lot of popularity across the world and consequently, composting equipment has become a big business today. A large variety of composting bins and compost tumblers is available in the market nowadays.
If you are limited by space and your generation of waste is small, a composting drum can prove to be the right choice for you. It can be assembled and placed in the corner of a garage or other protected area. The different types of drums include wooden barrels or kegs, steel drums, and metal or plastic trash cans.
Advantages to the Drum
Drum composting provides many advantages over the traditional compost pile. This composting receptacle is an easy, convenient way to produce quality fertilizer for your plants and trees and is generally a neater and less-messy practice than building and maintaining a compost pile.
Moreover, waste stored in it is pest-resistant and won’t fill the air with unpleasant odors. Drum composters allows you to actively rotate the compost which increases oxygen and decomposition rates.
To sum up, drums offer operational simplicity and an environment where there is warmth, moisture, organic material, and oxygen.
Easy Set Up
Setting up a composting drum is easy and requires few tools. Firstly, drill holes in its bottom for ventilation. Next set the drum, long-ways, on bricks or blocks so that air can pass beneath it. For increased ventilation, install a hollow pipe, also with holes in it, down into the centre of the drum. The pipe should be three to four feet tall.
Through the open end of the drum, add food scraps, leaves, yard cuttings, garbage and other waste. Then wet down the contents, seal off the end of the drum and leave it alone for about six weeks. When that time has passed, you can start turning the barrel to add air, which along with nitrogen, carbon and water is necessary to convert waste matter into compost.
The drum can be turned by hand, or you can buy a complete system that turns with a crankshaft. Some manufactures of compost drums claim that finished compost can be obtained in as little as 14 days, but most experts agree the entire process takes about 10 weeks.
Contrary to popular opinion, drum composting doesn’t produce finished compost any faster than an open compost pile, but many gardeners prefer the simplicity and convenience of a drum.
Besides evident personal benefits, drum composting also helps in making the environment cleaner by reducing the amount of waste that gets carried to landfills that may already be at or beyond capacity. Using a compost drum is a clean, green move that more and more home gardeners are embracing.
For more information on composting follow these links: