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Congratulations on your successful composting! I too have a small city lot. What may work well for you is a dual-chamber tumbling compost bin like the YIMBY which is 37 gallons total. Or for something larger (100 total gallons), a Mantis or Lifetime model. If possible, consider buying one off Craigslist. It takes a good long while to assemble a YIMBY. Had mine for about four years, and it made fine compost and was sturdy. I only sold it because I switched from traditional composting to worm composting.
Hi, that looks like a YIMBY tumbling composter. Is there are sliding door like in the picture on the link? If so, you are good to go to start your composting adventures. What is currently in there is dry and not broken down very much. Get a tarp, tote lid, flattened box, or something similar; dump out what is already in there by rotating the tumbler to where the opening is facing the ground; and use the existing material to start a new batch of compost.
The stuff that is in there now looks very dry and carbon-heavy. Try mixing in water and some greens (grass clippings, fruit/veggie scraps, etc.) to get some nitrogen in there. Used coffee grounds or blood meal are very nitrogen-rich, and can help kick-start the compost heating up. Toss a couple handfuls of garden dirt to the mix to add microbes. Then put your compost in one side of the tumbler.
That model of tumbler is designed to have one side filled up, before starting to add material to the other side. That way, one side of the tumbler continues composting, while you add material to the other side. I used a similar model for years, and liked it. Only gave it up after switching to worm composting. (Worms do not particularly like being tumbled about.) Happy composting!
I have the same tumbler, I think, it's this one [link]
It's ok but it's very small, I easily ran out of room in it when I lived alone with only a paved garden with few plants. It's also very hard to get the finished compost out of it as the lid gets stuck and it's hard to see what you're doing. I've since bought a supplementary bin.
I have this one from Amazon and it worked great this season. Kept the fly and gnat populations down much better than my previous Earth Machine, and didn’t end up with a soggy, glumpy mess living in a wet climate.
FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter, 37 gallon, Black [link]
I agree with the compost. You can find them relatively cheap on amazon. We use something similar to this.
Bonus: you will most likely get black soldier flys laying eggs in your compost bin. Their pupae are highly sought after for chicken snacks.
We went with this one. “Amazon’s Choice” and it’s pretty cheap compared to most of them. It has worked great so far. I’ve got two batches of compost so far, with a third cooking right now and the fourth one most of the way full.
Only (minor) drawback was that it has like 500 screws to hold all the panels together. So get ready for a wrist workout!
I live in a city townhome with no yard, and I use a rotating compost bin like this: FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter, 37 gallon, Black [link]
I have been very happy with my decision! Between using it for gardening and maggots coming in, it’s been pretty self sustaining for a home of 3 people for 3 years. It’s reduced our overall trash by probably about 30%.
As others have mentioned you can compost it.
I have that and use it in my garden and planters.
The other comments provide great diy options, but if those feel overwhelming, you could do what I did and buy a tumbler. I got this one on amazon: [link]
A good ratio is 7 parts brown (dry leaves, shredded paper) to 3 parts green (kitchen scraps) but I generally eyeball it and add kitchen scraps, spin it a couple times a week, and add dry brown matter of it looks too wet or starts to get smelly.
I don't actively add water to mine because my kitchen scraps tend to be pretty wet, but maybe I should.
This was from a pile I had for a couple years (have to manually turn it) i throw everything compostable in there...(uneated food, coffee grinds, egg shells etc) I have since upgraded to a tumbler style composter.
It's much better/easier
I'm roughly in zone 6b. I have this composter, with a batch in each half (adding to the second one periodically); I've avoided using worms so far because I was afraid I couldn't keep them alive over the winter, and supposedly they don't do well with certain scraps like citrus peels (though maybe I don't have too many of those?). But everything I've read says I should have compost by now, or at least something closer to compost. I'm afraid some of my scraps are too big. Or maybe now that it's summer, I need to add water more regularly?
I have a slightly different YIMBY that is a little smaller capacity and is a dual-chamber. It's been working fine so far, although it is a little too small to really get cooking without some direct sunlight to heat it up. Also note that it drains pretty freely since it is made out of 8 panels rather than being a solid container. I've never had to add water, but you'll want to put it over some ground that you don't mind getting drained on.
I have this one, it’s around $100. The reviews are right, it’s a bit finicky to put together but other than that, it’s been easy to use.
I bought this one from Home Depot for about $100 or so
I got this one from Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009378AG2
It's got 2 sides, so you can have one side "cooking" and put fresh material in the other. It worked okay, but that has more to do with the arid place I live rather than how it's made or anything like that. (It costs me too much on my water bill to actually keep my compost wet enough.) Anyway, just in case you're curious, it's also awesome for mixing my own potting/seedling mix in larger than bucket quanteties.