Conical bins on an allotment site
These moulded plastic bins are made from a recycled plastic open at the top and bottom. They are normally supplied with a separate, rather than an attached, lid and, in some cases a base plate. They usually have
an inspection or harvesting hatch at the bottom. In some models, the hatch is held in place by pushing part of it behind the edge of the bin. When the bin is filled, it may distort slightly making refitting the hatch difficult after harvesting and, overtime,
the plastic edges of the hatch may split. Replacement hatches may be purchased from Get Composting. Given the choice, some decide to pay a little more and get one of the versions with a sliding hatch. In most cases, the hatch is relatively small
and although it is relatively easy to harvest compost using a border spade many people prefer to harvest and remix the compost by tapping the bin to loosen the contents and lifting the bin leaving a neat compost mound. Users are often advised to place
a layer of twigs in the base of the bin to aid aeration, if emptying using the hatch these can make harvesting more difficult as they will be slower to breakdown than the other contents. The empty bin can be placed on the ground next to the heap
and the uncomposted material forked into the now empty bin. I have a colleague who uses this technique to aerate the compost emptying and refilling the bin fortnightly.
This style of bin is
normally supplied in black or green. The bin is light in weight and can be easily lifted off the compost for emptying and moved round the garden to meet changing needs. Empty or partly filled bin, tops or hatches may be blown across the garden or allotment
site by strong winds. On allotments this enables plot holders to play hunt the bin and talk others on the site. Labelling bins, lids and hatches with the plot number saves problems during any bin identity parade after a storm.
This type of bin is normally placed directly on the soil in a sunny part of the garden or plot. As they tend to be relatively small with a capacity of 200 or 300 litres, they are likely to dry out in the summer and may need the occasional
addition of water or preferably the sludge from Compost Tea making. As the bin is not insulated, it will only work effectively during the warmer months and will slow down or stop during the winter.
which seal the bottom of the bin reducing the likelihood of rats gaining access, can be purchased for some models. Fitting a base also means that the bin will not be blown off the compost and across the garden in strong winds. The lid is usually of a simple
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