Compost Bin SetUp

I received a compost bin from EcoKnights and Shell’s “Garbage to Garden Composting Project” on 11th February 2017. Many thanks to both EcoKnights and Shell. Anyways, this is my first purpose made compost bin. All my previous compost bins have been DIY.

19th Feb 2017: Haven’t had the materials to set it up till this week. Over the weekend, I went for breakfast at Restaurant New Grand View, Taman SEA. Opposite this coffee shop, on road Jalan SS23/17 is a park. While breakfasting, I saw park cleaners bagging waste leaves in the park.

After breakfast I sauntered across to the park and spoke to one of the cleaners. I asked for 2 bags. He said I could have all of them if I wanted! I took 2 bags. Can’t be too greedy…

I came home to hear the sound of grass cutters hard at work at my neightbour’s. Patiently I waited and soon I was able to grab one of the two bags of grass clippings that soon appeared next to my neighbour’s rubbish bin.

Carbon: tick, Nitrogen: tick.

OK, no excuse now. Gotta set up the compost bin from EcoKnights and Shell.

01-location

This was the position I picked. In between the banana and lemon tree, near to my existing plastic pot compost bin and blue 80 liter plastic barrel modded into a roll-on-the-ground compost bin. I would have preferred a sunnier (hotter) place for the compost bins, but between my plants and the compost bins, my plants get higher priority.

Here are the things that I will be composting in this new compost bin:

02-ingredients

 

 

03-grass-clippings
black bag of grass clippings.

 

04-dry-leaves
blue bags of dry leaves.

Prior to my getting bagged dry leaves from the park in Taman SEA, I had been collecting suitable dry leaves from my garden as well as the neighbourhood. I have used shredded office paper, torn up cardboard boxes, paper egg trays and other paper based materials as high carbon composting material before. These days I try to take a bag or two (or more!) of the bagged dried leaves from the park in Taman SEA and keep them till I use them. After using the stored leaves, I will keep any eye out for more bagged dry leaves.

While I do have access to leaves from ornamental palms, pandans and bananas, I find that these are comparatively harder to compost, even when cut into small pieces. It takes longer for these leaves to compost compared to other softer, non-waxy leaves.

 

10-leaves-crushed-by-handI hand crushed most of the leaves. Should have used the trimmer in a plastic bin, would have been much faster. But the usual plastic bin I use for this purpose is now acting as my compost storage bin… . Not much point getting another bin for leave shredding, it will just get used to store something or other and when I need to shred leaves, it will be full of something or other.

 

05-coffee-grindssome coffee grinds from Starbucks in the white plastic paint bucket. Don’s ask me what the light brown stuff is…. . I have a feeling it’s better if I don’t know what it is.

 

06-kitchen-waste
some kitchen waste from the night before.

I only have yesterday’s kitchen waste as I have other compost bins that I had been adding previous kitchen waste to on a daily basis.

 

07-compost
Some compost from my storage bin of compost. While compost is not necessary in starting a new compost batch, many say that it helps to speed up the start of the composting process. I have composted both ways: adding compost to the new batch to be composted as well as not adding any compost. I find that in terms of speeding up the composting process, regular turning or aeration of the compost makes way more difference than adding or not adding compost to a starting batch.

 

08-woody-wastecollected some woody waste from the neighborhood to be used as the base layer.

 

09-woody-waste-cut-to-sizecut the woody waste to size.

 

Layering the Compost Bin

11-compost-bin-locationPlacing the compost bin…

 

12-emptybare bottom…

 

13-base-layer-woody-materialFirst the woody stuff as a base…

 

14-uncrushed-dry-leavesSecondly whole dry leaves.

 

15-crushed-leavesThen some shredded dry leaves.

 

16-grassGrass waste.

 

17-compost-bin-next-to-compost-binPlacing the compost storage bin next to the new compost bin to make it easier for me…

 

18-compostSprinkled some compost.

 

19-waterWater in the blue green watering can to wet down any layers that appear too dry. All dry leaf and grass clipping layers received a watering down after placement to ensure dampness. Even though the grass clippings had only been cut less than 2 hours ago, they had already lost some of their moisture in the hot sun. Damp is good. Soaking wet is not necessary.

 

21-coffeegrindA slight sprinkling of coffee grinds.

 

22-crushed-leavesMore crushed dry leaves.

 

23-kitchen-wasteKitchen waste.

 

24-egg-shellsEgg shells…

 

25-crushed-egg-shellsAdded in the crushed egg shells.

 

26-grassclippingMore grass clippings.

 

27-coffeegrindsCoffee Grinds.

 

28-compostSprinkling of compost.

 

29-crushed-leavesCrushed dry leaves.

 

30-grassclippingsGrass clippings.

 

31-coffeegrindsCoffee grinds.

 

32-compostSprinkling of compost.

 

33-dryleavesCrushed dry leaves.

 

34-grassclippingsGrass clippings.

 

35-coffeegrindCoffee grinds.

 

36-compostCompost.

 

37-crushedleavesCrushed dry leaves.

 

38-grassclippingsGrass clippings.

 

39-coffeegrindsCoffee grinds.

 

40-compostCompost.

 

IMG_20170219_124226.jpgCrushed dry leaves. Finally last layer!

 

41-crushedleaves-lastWetting down as usual after adding dry material to ensure material is damp. Not quite damp enough. At this point I had emptied my 6 liter watering can and had to refill the watering can.

 

42-closedNew compost bin filled and closed. Now to clear up the area…

 

43-leftovermaterialsLeftover material. Finished one bag of dry leaves but less than half of the grass clippings.

 

The next day…

44-next-day20th Feb 2017: Early morning look at the inside of the compost bin. Some settling down of the material in the compost bin.

 

 

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