Re: compost
From: Kathy Tymoczko (
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 12:21:07 -0700 (PDT)
We have three 12-cubic foot capacity black compost bins with both top and
bottom lids.  See for a
picture (although ours are black not green).  They're 27 inches in diameter
and 36 inches high, and are in an eight-by-eight foot lattice-enclosed area
by our front (street-facing) garden (we don't have much outdoor space).
One is the "done" bin, one is the "cooking" bin, and one is the bin that is
currently being filled.  We have not had rat problems since we got these
bins with the bottom "lid".  Our previous bins just sat on on the ground,
and provided a very nice habitat for mice and rats (warm and food-filled).

We have 30 households, and fill up the bin in typically about 6 weeks; it
cooks and settles quite a bit while being filled.  So every 4 to 8 weeks,
the "done" bin has to be emptied and spread on our garden beds (if it
hasn't been already), the "cooking" bin (which has usually reduced in
volume to about half by then) moved into the "done" bin, and the contents
of the "filling" bin moved into the "cooking" bin.  It takes about an hour
or so to do that on one of our monthly garden work days.  The composting
process works pretty well.  The "cooking" bin tends to be about 110 degrees
for a fair chunk of time, and we have lots of worms and soldier flies
(good) and billions of fruit flies or fungus gnats (not as good).  Woody
things (twigs bigger than 1/4 inch in diameter and longer than 3 or 4
inches) or big chunks or things not in smallish pieces don't always break
down completely.

We live in Portland, Oregon, and the city does composting as well, and
provides kitchen compost buckets, so not all households necessarily put
their kitchen waste in our bins.  The city compost program allows things in
their compost that we don't want in ours (meat, poultry, fish, shellfish,
bones, coffee filters, tea bags, paper napkins and paper towels, pizza
delivery boxes, branches).

On Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 8:02 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> > [My community is committed to a re-design of our compost
> > system ........... We have four goals for this re-design:
> > rat-proof, largely odor-free, aesthetic, and efficient and
> > effective for residents.]
> We have two black composters the size of a garbage can. I think they have
> have layers. One is filled while the other sits. Then the compost is
> transferred to blue bins the size of recycling bins and sits covered for
> another period of time before it is ready. We have rats and not enough
> space to leave it out in the open.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> _________________________________________________________________
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Kathy Tymoczko
Daybreak Cohousing <>
Portland, Oregon

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