As you know, my husband and I own and live in a 4-plex. We make the most of our small yard by keeping a garden, raspberry patch, potted blueberries, various landscaped herbs and six chickens. We continue to optimize our space and think we’ve done a great job with what we have to work with. Regardless, a small yard poses quite a challenge in one arena: composting.
Up until recently, I hadn’t really worried about compost. We don’t have a spot we can designate as a permanent compost pile anyways, so why worry? But with the addition of our chickens we are faced with a new conundrum – mountains of chicken poo – or garden gold depending on how you look at it – and no where to put it! Chicken manure is “hot”, with a high nitrogen content and needs to be mellowed before you can apply it to your plants so I couldn’t just start shoveling it in the garden. I started researching for a solution.
What I settled on was Spin Bin. Now, I have one of those personalities that doesn’t really like to shoot from the hip. I perform thorough research, weigh my options, sleep on it and then maybe, just maybe will make a purchase. I picked Spin Bin for a few reasons. First, value; It was the largest capacity composter I could find for the price. Second, I liked that it is made out of recycled plastic in the United States – no huge transportation footprint. Third, I like that the company is relatively small, and again, based in the United States (sorry Wallyworld, not going there). Fourth, the composter has access on both ends, with a wide, large mouth so I could easily dump a bucket of soiled chicken bedding in.
I purchased my first Spin Bin in March. Because I had almost a years worth of spent chicken bedding stored in buckets, I filled it up quickly and decided to get another. The bins themselves are pretty darn sturdy. The dark color helps to absorb the sunlight and heat up the contents and its ridiculously fun to spin the compost bin – you have to find pleasure in the little things. It took me about an hour each to put the bins together. Most of the time was spent with my drill gun – there’s 56 screws you have to drill in.
Now, I did have to modify the bins just a bit. Here in the Seattle area we have an issue with fruit flies everywhere. They drive me crazy! I have to keep my kitchen scraps cleaned up at all times or I end up with a aggressive mob of fruit flies swarming around. The Spin Bin has aeration slits to aid the compost process. However, the slits are perfect fruit fly access points. To remedy this, I picked up some glue-on screen material from the hardware store and applied it over the air holes with a hair dryer. Viola! No fruit flies here.
So far the bins have held up well and seem to be doing their job. As a bonus, each bin comes with a two year warranty. Each of my purchases was followed up with a email letting me know if I needed any help or had any issues to be sure and contact Spin Bin (nice tough). Currently the bins are on sale at spinbincomposter.com for $119.00 (free shipping and no tax outside of Texas). While that’s not cheap, I think they’ll last a while and should hopefully spit out that much worth of compost over the next year or two. For property with a small yard or other restrictions that aren’t friendly to an open-air compost pile, I’d recommend giving Spin Bin a try.
Please note, I am not affiliated and was not compensated for this review. This is just my own two cents.
Photo used with permission of Clean Air Gardening, copyright 2015. All rights reserved.