Trial of new 200 litre compost bin

New 200 litre compost bin – a bit (~ 100mm) wider than a milk crate

Today we began trialling a new 200 litre compost bin made by Aerobin.  It’s half the size of their 400 litre bin.  It’s footprint is half the size, too:  it’s 510mm x 510mm x 1175mm high.  To my eyes it’s more elegant.  It’s smaller size increases the range of locations it may go into.


It looks as though it will aerate the compost more effectively than the 400 litre bin and prove more effective at keeping cockroaches out.


The bin was kindly donated to Sustainable Chippendale by Aerobin so we may test it – we’re grateful for this opportunity; more info here:…


Watch this space.


7 Responses to “Trial of new 200 litre compost bin”
  1. Michael says:

    Ibika, yes, there’s good temp data from about six months or so of weekly monitoring in the book, Sustainable Food; they were over 50 degrees much of the time but when they became too popular and got overloaded their efficiency and temperature dropped; we will begin to measure the temperature of the 200 litre bin next week and I’ll blog the data; good question, thank you, Michael

  2. ibika says:

    michael, does anyone monitor the temperature of the bins at all?.

  3. Michael says:

    James, I think both are useful and we’ll keep going with the road bins and, in a new project, we are about to trial a large scale central collection system with the food waste to go to five farms. Once we get confidence from that we’re aiming to take all of Chippendale’s food waste to the farms, hopefully by the end of this year. If we can do that we’ll be able to cut the size and frequency of the garbage trucks. The composted soil from the farms will be returned to us as soil for our gardens and parks. Lots of things to work out but we’re going to give this a go. Several folks involved in this and we’ve begun taking cafe waste to one farm with the aim of having all five farms involved asap. Fingers crossed, Michael

  4. I guess my question though, would be: is a composting solution the most appropriate for a street setting?

    From what I’ve learnt, the two main choices are:

    * compost bins: create a 1m3 mass of “green” and “brown” material, get it nice and hot, and let bacteria,etc do their job. Generally created in the one hit from available material, and then used when everything has composted down.

    * worm farms: create a friendly environment for worms, and steadily feed them small amounts every week. They much through this to create vermicast.

    With the preponderance of “green material” in a residential setting (mostly kitchen scraps), and a desire to steadily add to the bins — is composting the right solution?

    Or would a commercial-scale automated composting unit be better, with materials sourced from houses and then returned to community gardens, etc?

  5. ibika says:

    I think a whole lot more design hours needs tobe spent on developing compost bins.. I used to have a business in aust reselling most of the ones on the market.. and to be frank most dont work so well.
    aeration and temperature are the keys..

  6. Michael says:

    James; good points and critical ones for us to answer in this trial; for me the make or break in this smaller version is the aerospike – the bigger ones didn’t get enough air because most people using them don’t put carbon in and they get too wet and incline towards anerobic states; the weekly addition of sawdust is our best solution to dealing with public composting so far in the big ones; this smaller one may turn out to be better at aerating the what appears to be inevitable excessive food waste; we’ll see – we’re on the composting frontier here in the public domain. If council were to run public workshops on composting here – as was agreed with the council’s waste officer in 2008 when we started – this would probably not be occurring as there’d be more educated users. It never happened because that waste officer left following a falling out with a new manager who took over 18 months to hire a replacement leaving our community in the meantime without a full time committed and passionate waste officer . . . a classic example of how not to conduct a trial . . . life happens; go well, Michael

  7. One question:

    The general rule of thumb for a compost bin is to have a cubic metre of material for best effect.

    The old Aerobin — which I have several of — was just under this.

    Is it potentially problematic that the smaller Aerobin is way under the normally recommended size?

    I guess the “aerospike” could help, although I find that to be very problematic in practice, and most of mine are now broken.

    What are your thoughts?

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  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

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    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
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    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
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