Compost Bin Recommendations Needed

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Pen) wrote in

I have something called a earth machine, too. it's a conically shaped, one piece, except for the cover with locks into place and a sliding door at the bottom. works pretty well, though I've nothing to compare it to. I guess it's 3-4 years old, doesn't show any signs of sun damage. I have not noticed any ravenous plastic eating rats in the area (got some wood eating ones though). mine came with 6" plastic screws to anchor it into the ground. you're right about the vents allowing enough oxygen, but I think the manual suggested you turn the pile occasionally. they even had some ridiculously priced auger contraption to help you do it. I think a fork would work just as well, but have been too cheap to buy one (been trying to flip the pile with a old piece of rebar ... yeah go ahead, laugh, it's good for you, laughing anyway).
- ST
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Mine might be an earth machine copy, sounds like you've got a better thing. It was sold as a two piece: top cylinder latches onto a wider bottom cylinder (whole thing pops off with a kick). The bottom had 4 big screws that pinned down a large thick plastic sieve for the bottom. A lid capped the whole thing and had adjustable vents depending on how far the lid was turned. I always turned it all the way otherwise wind would take it to the nighbour's yard! :)
When turning, I used the lip for leverage. I'm barely 5' so when the top half pops off, the neighbours gets a laugh. When I got rats in there, they turned compost for me by their tunneling action. Unfortunately, we discovered they were roof rats. <ugh!>
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Pen) wrote in

hmm, now that you've described it, I think mine *probably* originally came in two pieces, too. (how did I fit it in my car?) I would check but it's full of hurricane debris and out in the middle of nowhere right now. Everything else matches exactly (except maybe the number of screws, but I don't use them). If yours is really an Earth Machine (TM), it should have 'earth machine' embossed on the cover (very hard to see, though).
I usually leave the top barely latched on even though I've also had the lid blow off [but not the entire top half :-)], because quite frankly it's a pain to remove esp. when you've got your hands full of compostables. I find the handle leaves a lot to be desired (grip-wise) and it's hard to know when you've turned the top enough to unlock it. I should probably paint some marks on it or something.
(bin is located in SE Virginia, so concerning UV degradation, probably doesn't have the same problems as TX and AZ).
- ST
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The 2 of us use 5 - 7 gallon black plastic pots (free from landscapers) when 1 is full fill another, works for us,,, all vegetation goes in, NO meat! ,, good luck! Ed zone 8,, :-)

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