Drum composting can be an expensive undertaking, if you decide to purchase any of the ready-made options. These usually sit quite high in the air, making it difficult for composting materials to get in and out. The other benefit of having a low tumble dryer is that you can take full advantage of the natural heat in the soil, which makes composting much more efficient, especially during the cold winter months.
What you will need:
- 1 barrel
- 1 board 36 x 18 inches
- 4 NON-swiveling wheels
- 2 Hinges for the hatch door
- 2 pin locks
- wood screws
1. First of all, you will need to create an access panel in the barrel, which should be wide enough to fit your shovel. Mark the area and use a jigsaw to carefully cut out the door.
2. The tricky part: You’ll need to install the hinges and pins into the panel to secure the hatch. This is not essential, but if you wish, you can screw on a drawer handle to open the hatch more easily.
3. Oxygen is essential in the composting process, so aerate your drum by drilling small holes evenly spaced throughout the drum. If you wish, you can also paint the barrel black to allow for better absorption of sunlight and heat into the composting material.
4. Now a base is needed for the barrel to sit on. Use your 36 x 18 inch board and set the non-casting wheels so the barrel is supported and raised off the ground. This is your turning mechanism that will allow you to “flip” your compost, so getting it right now before you fill it up is a good idea. One or two helpers may be needed. Once this is complete, lay the board on some bricks to stabilize the structure.
5. All you have to do now is fill it with your kitchen waste. As the weight increases, it will be easier to turn the barrel. Try to rotate often, maybe even every day if you can.