Composter update or anaerobic really stinks

2 Aug 2012

my composters

Experienced composters will tell you that having the right mix of materials (brown – leaves and green – food) is important as is making sure that the composter is turned to ensure that air is getting into the mix and that the compost doesn’t go anaerobic.  Why is this important?  Well, aerobic composting is typically faster and more complete and smells a lot less.

Well, both of our composters went anaerboic meaning that no one other than me would get anywhere near them – they smelled, well, like rotting food.   Plus there was a storm of fruit flies, making the whole process of adding waste food to the composters quite gross.

I decided to add some leaves and buy some compost “starter” and to turn the composters more frequently to see if I could get them back into an aerobic balance.  I’m pleased to tell you that the smell is largely gone as are the bugs.  It seems to have worked!  One of our two composters (the green one) is looking more and more like it is ready to be emptied.  I hope to report on that soon.

As you can see, the black one has highlighted something of a design flaw – when there’s a lot of liquid, it tends to run all over the composter’s “face” during turning.

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