Sherry has been using the same compost bin since 2009 and is adding to it in 2016. She takes pride in not using the kitchen sink disposer.
My Stationary Black Tower Compost Bin Was Leaning Tower of Pisa
After a few years the black plastic tower type compost bin, the Garden Gourmet compost bin, I owned started to lean. The door would not stay in the allotted slots and the lid would not fit, because the whole unit was not square on the top any more.
All this due to the fact the ground became unstable from erosion. I had put it directly on the soil at the site.
The problem was I needed to empty the whole thing to reseat the base and so many months have gone by with all the problems present. I have to admit that the unit was still working fine and giving me black gold every month.
One day this spring I decided it is time to straighten out this Bosmere K767 or Garden Gourmet compost bin. It has a few different names on the market. It is manufactured by Specter and is one of the least expensive plastic compost bins on the market. You may have one and experiencing the same problems. Do not despair you can still get months and years of service from your purchase.
Problems with the Home Compost Bin
I did not take any pictures of the leaning tower but I did take a closeup of the problem at the bottom of the tower.
As you can see there is bowing and splitting of the pieces at the corners and bottom. Through the four years it has been at this site the family dogs and neighborhood rats have undermined the ground and started the leaning.
For some reason, maybe the drought conditions in Southern California, the rats have not been around for three years, and the dog that liked to dig the most is no longer with us. If you are a pet fan or a JR fan, read about Barkley here.
Our newest pet is Hank, a Jack Russell, like Barkley. He is my garden article mascot. You can witness him in my other garden and plant HubPages.
Plastic Tower Compost Bin
Emptied the Bin Out
This is the part taking the most time to complete. The process to remove the compost took two days. I started at the bottom and extracted a half trash can of compost for later gardening. I took time to screen it. Trash can on left of pic.
The stuff falling from the top I put in the wheelbarrow. I wanted plenty of material to put back in the bin as my starter mix. It already has all the good stuff to help generate heat when it is set up again.
I pried off the top few tiers of the bin and the bottom half is in the wheelbarrow.
Hank the Jack Russell is always around when the garden tools are out. Here he is on a long leach out of reach of the compost. He likes to eat chunks of compost, and one time he ate too much of the stuff and I had to visit the vet. I keep a close eye on him now when working with the compost.
Level the Ground
Here is the spot with the ground newly leveled with a garden rake. Found seven old bricks around the yard and sunk them more than halfway into dirt to discourage animals and to make the opening level to the ground.
A little measuring was done to help with placement. The bricks across the back measure 25". The bricks on each side are 24".
The Bin Was Hammered Back into Shape
The handyman hammered the corners and sides into shape and placed the bottom half of the bin on the brick base. Snapped the top half back on and hammered that into shape.
The door slipped into the tracks and slid into place squaring with the bottom of the box. The two bricks in the front were angled out a tweak so the door would go flush with the ground.
At right the door edge is just clearing the brick bed.
Tip for Keeping Rats Out of Your Compost Bin
Not a Pretty Subject - Rats
A woodworker and general handyman I know thought up this barrier screen for keeping rats out of our bin.
The screen has worked and I do not see signs of nesting rats. I have seen little field mice nest holes but those guys are okay.
The screen fits close to the inside edges of the bin.
Compost Bin Poll
Many Types of Compost Bins
Advantage of the Tower Compost Bin
I did not see the clip about the Garden Gourmet on Oprah but I have been using my original compost bin since 2007. I am quite satisfied with it and I have had many hours of hobby fun.
I like the fact this bin is made from 50% recycled materials.
Here is one plus for the tower type. Maybe some one with a tumbler can tell me how they harvest the compost in a tumbler. It seems that you would have to cease adding to it for a mature mix. My bin has the completed mix gathering at the bottom. The top half which is less mature stays put if one does not shake it loose. The advantage of this is the cook, gardener, gets all the good microbes staying in the bin even after harvest.
Other writers say composting is addictive. I know I have not tired of keeping the process going in my backyard. I like to talk about it too.
I have more tips about composting and the black tower bin on other HubPages.
© 2013 Sherry Venegas