While fresh, odour free and light brown in colour the leachate may be spread on the plot or garden and used as a liquid fertiliser around plants.. The normal dilution rate is 1:10 (1-part leachate to 10 parts water) but
for sensitive plants a ratio of 1:20 is suggested.
Lechate differs from Compost tea which is specially brewed to increase the numbers of microbes in the liquid to be applied to the plants and soil. For information
on Compost teas click the link Compost Teas
Leachate can be collected from tumbler bins by installing a drip tray, or other forms
of containment, beneath the drum. The tray should be fitted with a drainage tube so that the leachate can be collected in a bucket. Drip trays should be emptied regularly so that they do not overflow. Such leachate can be added to the compost bin both to increase
the moisture content in dry weather and as an activator.
Rainfall can add to the leachate increasing run off from the bin increasing the risk of contaminating groundwater or any water courses adjacent to the composting area.
While the composting material needs to stay moist to decompose properly it should not be allowed to become waterlogged or produce significant amounts of runoff. Covering the bin or heap with a tarpaulin or fitting a lid not only reduces this risk but helps
prevent the organic material becoming waterlogged. Hot composting systems using a New Zealand bin or a modern composter such as the Hotbin tend to produce less leachate as a considerable amount of the water evaporates
the compost or heap bin is mounted directly on the soil moving it every two or three years allows the area fertilised by the leachate to be utilised for growing. Alternatively, the bin could be mounted on a waterproof membrane which is drained into a bucket
set into the ground.
If a permanent composting area is being used the heaps or bins can be put on a concrete bed or slabs which slope to a gutter which drains into a bucket set into the ground to collect the leachate. It
is advisable to use a lidded bucket or have a wooden cover over it to reduce the egress of rain water which would dilute the leachate.