How to keep your compost from smelling

Compostworm instructions

Seven compost bins in Peace Park, one for each day of the week

A key tool we use to keep compost in our road compost bins from smelling is to turn it at least once a week with an augur.

It’s called a ‘Compost Worm”.  The how-to-use for it is with this post.

It’s a metal thing with a screw shaped end that we dig in and rotate around the sides of the bins to bring up the wetter material from the lower part of the compost pile and expose it to air.

With so much food and other waste in each bin it’s essential to turn the compost so it doesn’t get too wet and go smelly.

Yes, we put in carbon – cardboard mulch, grass and leaves, clippings, coffee husk mulch.  But with a bin capacity of 300 litres and the bins often close to full we need to turn the top half over by hand with the auger.

Between one to a dozen or so of us use the augers each week.  John, from City Road, augers the five bins up near him at least twice a week.

We get at least four to six wheelbarrows of compost from the 13 bins a week to put on our road gardens.

Go the composters,


3 Responses to “How to keep your compost from smelling”
  1. Shona Young says:

    Hi Michael,
    Many thanks for that…just what I need! Glad I found your blog too….keep up the great work!

  2. Michael says:


    Great to hear from you; thanks for making contact.

    It’s an Aerobin;

    More info here:

    Do register and stay in touch with us:

    Each bin takes 3 tonnes of food a year and makes a tonne of soil and prevents 1 tonne of carbon pollution. We have 11 we own and manage on our road verge gardens here.

    Join our facebook page and share the info and fun,


  3. Shona Young says:

    Can you tell me what’s the name of the compost bins in this photo please. And the compostworm idea is a good one!

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  • Michael Mobbs

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

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
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