Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Life & Style

Starting Small with a Tumbling Composter

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The material in the tumbler chamber represents 13 months of continuous kitchen composting by the Soni household. They have never emptied the material into the yard or garden, though they plan to next spring. The insulated chamber holds about 4.5 cubic feet of material. Moisture drains into a catch basin below. Photo courtesy of Kathy Connolly

The material in the tumbler chamber represents 13 months of continuous kitchen composting by the Soni household. They have never emptied the material into the yard or garden, though they plan to next spring. The insulated chamber holds about 4.5 cubic feet of material. Moisture drains into a catch basin below. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Connolly )

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Stonington resident Manju Soni uses a tumbler-style compost unit. While the traditional backyard bin is the most familiar compost method, it is worthwhile to consider tumblers, especially for small yards, condos, and apartments. Photo courtesy of Kathy Connolly

Stonington resident Manju Soni uses a tumbler-style compost unit. While the traditional backyard bin is the most familiar compost method, it is worthwhile to consider tumblers, especially for small yards, condos, and apartments. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Connolly )

Stonington resident Manju Soni purchased a Jora tumbling composter in October 2018 (www.joracomposters.com). Her primary goal was to reduce the amount of material she and her husband put out for trash collection.

“It took a bit of experimentation at first,” she says. “But I am very satisfied with the results.”

She feels their two-person household has reduced trash output by about one-third.

Soni adds about two quarts of blended fruit and veggie scraps once per week, in addition to eggshells, egg cartons, corn cobs, avocado pits, and assorted paper products. She blends the food scraps in the kitchen to speed the compost process.

Compost tumblers are completely enclosed and odor-free. The Soni’s composter is in the garage, where temperatures are almost always above 40 degrees. At that temperature, the composter can operate efficiently year-round. The unit occupies about 10 square feet of floor space. Most compost tumblers sit on frames above ground level on a turning spit, so they are not susceptible to rodents.

Soni turns the tumbler by its handle every other day to assure efficient operation, which she says is not difficult to do. When this style of composter is operated properly, it achieves temperatures high enough to kill most seeds and even pathogens. The finished material does not resemble any of the original additions.


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