Composter thoughts and specs

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Reg. Composter #1

    Materials:

    2X4's
    Chicken wire
    Black plastic tubing (drain pipe)

    Take the 2x4's and make a square frame.
    Wrap the frame with chicken wire, depending on height may want to leave one side open.
    Make a lot of holes in the pipe through out.
    Place the piping in a criss-cross patern, checkerboard, at the bottom of cage with ends sticking out of wire.
    Place compost on top.
    A few days into composting plug the tubes with newspaper for 24 hours then unplug and let it do its thing

    Theory:

    The compost will heat and as it heats will pull the needed air through the drain pipes and into the pile. Plugging the pipes with newspaper will cause the pile to expand it's "heating" to the outside corners. After 24 hours the pipes can be unplugged and the composting can finish. Unsure how the avg time it will take to get a finished product. May want to add piping to mechanically introduce air to pile to help speed the process (use a air pump)
     
  2. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Reg. Composter #2

    ** UNSURE OF PROPER TECHNIQUES **

    Materials:

    4' wide black plastic drain pipe
    Air pump
    tubing (pvc?)

    Process:

    Take the black plastic drain pipe and stand it on its end (straight up)
    Put the tubing into the sides of the bottom of the pipe.
    Attach the tubing to an air pump to pump air.
    Fill with compost material.
    Pump air into tube daily.
    May want to unplug tubing from pump to allow air to be pulled in naturally from heat of compost
    I believe it was mentioned the pile was needed to be turned.
    ** make sure to read attached comments as I am positive someone will make needed corrections**

    Theory:

    Set up will be cleaner and more compact. The air being pumped in will help to speed the process hopefully ending with a finished product sooner.
     
  3. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Vermicomposter #1

    This is my baby

    Materials:

    Chicken wire
    Old used tires (uncut)
    Plywood/metal sheet
    Moist Shavings, shredded paper, etc. for bedding

    Process:

    Take the first tire, place a piece of plywood/metal sheet underneath as a base. Add needed bedding.
    Add worms.
    Place chicken wire on top of first tire
    Add tires until desired height is reached (their may be a recommended max, unsure)
    Add proper compost mix.

    Theory:

    The tires being stacked will allow easy access to the different levels of the stack for maintenance. The screen will prevent the uncomposted material from reaching the bedding where the castings should arrive. When you feel it is time to gather the castings you remove the top tires and only have to take away the bottom. The plywood/metal sheet, will create a cleaner area to collect castings.

    Suggestions:

    - Way to be able to remove tires with compost still inside, not a lot just what may be left over, a way to attach and detach the tires for easier handling.

    - How do you get the worms seperated from the castings? Screen? I have seen and heard of putting the bedding "compartment" on top so the worms would go to the bottom on their own. I think screening would be easier as long as the worms are not too badly harmed. Is there a better time of day to process the castings that the worms tend to feed?
     
  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    REMEMBER!

    All compost and castings should be screened to remove any unfinished products.
     
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    Dont know how big you want to go or how small, but I made a composter out of a black plastic barrel and I think it is working great. I built a frame, suspended the barrel on a piece of gas pipe...cut a door in the side and put hinges and latches on it and it is working great. I rotate the barrel once per day or every time I add more materials. I have been seeing temps of 150 degrees (too hot for worms) which is amazing considering the small size. I have a wealth of black soldier fly maggots eating my mix which is great as they consume at a very high rate.

    I need to make my second barrel composter so that I can stop adding crap to the old one. I have the barrel, just dont have the time.
     
  6. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I have seen a lot of manufactured composters similar to this. Great for smaller ops. I didn't even think about that. Thank you.

    Mine were more geared to larger/medium ops. Would something like this be able to supply an operation of this size? Or would it not put out enough material? No matter what we do I will have to have multiple barrels, boxes, tubes, going at once to make a big enough supply.
     
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    If only making tea it may suffice (not sure about this either)...but for actual materials it would be too small.
     
  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    40 yard dumpster or a shipping container, with steel pipe air manifolds in the floor, and a regenerative blower for air. the air gets suctioned into the container and the air is filtered in a charcoal filter. there is a worm drive screw on the floor to unload the container(midway of the floor and it runs long ways the length of the whole can). the screw can be powered from the auxiliary power from a bobcat or other machine with a hydraulic pto.

    that's where i am headed next. we are going to use a b grade container as there cheap and easy to work with. they can also be stacked 5 tall with compost in them. there crush weight is 157000 lbs. so 2 tall will be no trouble
     
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    That sounds awesome, why would you need to filter the air? or is that air blowing back out? I am not sure what a worm drive screw is but I will try to look that up. I would love to see pics. I have to just keep reminding myself that you are ages past me. I will take any second hand scraps that you don't want though... I think. Meaning I don't know if I have anywhere to put them.
     
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    we have started filtering the air because we are composting some harder than normal inputs and we have almost 100 tons, 200 yards inside and we don't like to taste the air!!

    the easy way to make a barrel compost-er we have seen is like this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcPz4XF-yUM

    there are also other ways,

    take 4 pallets and tie them in a box with wire or string, put a 5th pallet under for air
    wire rings made of fence, then you just fill it with starter feeds.
    long piles(windrows) that you feed one end and harvest the other
    bags like burlap but plastic that get filled with stuff and turned with a bulldozer. i would guess that they had almost 50 yards of compost in each one.
    drum composters of all shapes and sizes, from barrels to the costly tumblers with the fancy handles that are gear reduced.
    even seen a Japaneses compost-er that you plug in to electricity????


    and the idea of the tower worm farm is that all the little guys go for the food on top, so the lower sieves can be harvested when there ready just by changing the rotation or order that they went in, on a commercial level you going to want to start of small and scalable, try this,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsFMRsiSzHM
     

Share This Page