Deep Dive into Tumbler Composting Bins

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Using a tumbler composting bin is such a fun and simple way to compost. Let’s get into it!

tumbler composting bin

What is tumbler composting?­

The tumbler composting system is much like your average backyard composting bin.  The difference is that you can leave behind that pitchfork or shovel.  The tumbler itself is an off-the-ground sealed container that holds your compost and is rotated or turned.  This mixing process is what will ensure that your compost will be consistent and quickly broken down.

What can you put in in your tumbler composting bin?

Your composting tumbler is very similar to the backyard pile or bin, so you can put a lot of the same items in it.  For this system, you are definitely going to want to chop your kitchen waste and yard trimmings nice and small. 

Great to put in a tumbler

scraps for composting
Fruits and vegetables
Garden scraps & yard waste
Coffee / tea with paper filters
Straw / hay / wood chips
Shredded paper

Not great for your tumbler:

Meat & fish
Fats / grease
Pet feces
Garden scraps treated with pesticides

And make sure you feed your tumbler with a healthy split of “green” and “brown” waste.

Who is the tumbler composting bin best for?

Honestly, the tumbler composting system is an amazing option for anyone’s composting needs/wants as long as you have a little space.  Tumblers come in many sizes and can fit in just about any yard. 

If you live in an apartment, I would recommend using something like a worm bin.  If you feel like a little tumbler would be better just go for it, but you may need to work out a system that suits you. 

What will you need?

All you will need to begin your tumbler composting adventure is:

  • Buy a tumbler that suits you. (I’d recommend looking on Craigslist or other secondhand marketplaces first)
  • You can also make one! It actually seems easier than I thought.
  • A little yard space that is convenient for you
  • Make sure you have a good mix of “green” and “brown” waste from around your kitchen and yard
  • And you can add a compost accelerator (optional). All it does is add microbes, this helps because tumblers are off the ground and bacteria has trouble getting into it

Tips, tricks, and upkeep

  • Make sure you balance your “browns” and “greens” for the best compost
  • The waste you throw in your tumbler should be in small pieces
  • Like I said above, use a compost accelerator if needed
  • You should be turning your tumbler regularly (if you can, daily)
  • The contents in your tumbler should be moist, but not wet (like a rung out sponge)

Take care of your tumbler and your tumbler will take care of you. Keep on composting folks! Looking for other ways to compost? Check out my blogs on vermicomposting, backyard composting, and services.

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