Building a compost bin in the back yard, which turns biological waste from our kitchens into something useful, does not have to be a year-long project, and take up a lot of resources. Yes, you can build a whole DIY biogas plant, but there are also much smaller and simpler versions that can still be useful and practical, while also serving as a planter and a garden decoration piece.
One such design of a small DIY compost bin comes from Hil Padilla, a well-known sustainable farming expert, who is a former head of the Agriculture Department of Hong Kong’s Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden (KFBG) and has promoted integrated and intelligent farming system across Southeast Asia for many years.
The system is simple, yet highly functional. It uses warms to compost the bio-waste, while the nutrients are sent directly to the soil and fed to plants of any kind.
The compost bin comprises of bucket with tiny holes surrounded by soil, placed in a bigger container. Food waste goes inside the bucket, and so do the warms. The soil around the bin could contain any seeds and roots of plants, including flowers and herbs depending on what the owner likes.
Once the bio-waste is placed inside the bucket, the warms begin to compost. During this process liquid is released, which seeps through the holes of the bucket and serves as a brilliant fertilizer for the plants in the soil. The moisture levels are perfect for both the warms and the plants, resulting in a very happy complete system.
For some types of bio-waste, like fish entrails for example, the designer also proposes that a cover is used to minimize the smell and prevent flies from infesting. However it is not entirely needed, as the warms are highly efficient and can compost it in a matter of a few days, so a simple layer of soil on top of the waste will do the job.
The design is very easy to make yourself, and can be a brilliant addition to any garden, as it does its job quietly and unnoticed. And although it is a DIY thing, the designer hints that he would be very happy if someone decides to take up the idea and commercialize it.
Image (c) Hil Padilla