This may come as a shock to you, but we had intentionally neglected our compost bins for 5 whole days, as we were curious to see what would result after that. In other words, we neither looked, observed, touched, nor attended to our compost bins for all 5 days.
This is another one of our attempts to compost the “lazy” way, assuming the position of unmotivated or disinterested Singaporeans with regards to recycling/composting. For more information on our “lazy” experiment, click here. You may also view the chronological updates of our “lazy” experiment here.
Before we divulge any details on this crazy (we know) 5-day thing, we would like to first recap the conditions of our bins before we “neglected” them:
- Both bins were, as always, placed right outside our HDB apartment near our row of plants
- Both bins were completely uncovered (we took away the lids) except for the “do not touch” labels
- Both bins were left completely exposed and unprotected from Singapore’s weather and tropical conditions – we even allowed rainwater to freely fall in, and there had been really heavy downpours over the past few days!
- Both bins contained hay as the top cover material – click here for more information
- Both bins are propped up from the ground using simple plastic containers to improve aeration under and around the bins – click here for more information
If you are keen to make your own low-cost and handy compost bin like ours, you may view our video tutorials here.
Today, we are proud to say that the contents in the green compost bin have just turned 5 weeks old, while the contents in the pink compost bin are 3 weeks old. Usually, it takes between 3 to 6 months to compost in a tropical climate like Singapore. However, this time can be shortened when composting conditions are kept ideal. For more information, check out these simple ways to speed up the composting process.
(Note: We named our two compost bins as “green” and pink”, because each bin originally came with a green and pink lid respectively.)
Finally… We present the results of our neglect! 😉
Well, that’s not all! We found more mushrooms inside the pink bin (the bin on the left). However, most of them had already grown and withered away – mushrooms usually have very short lifespans. Their fruit (the noticeable mushroom above the hay) serves to release spores. These spores grow into new mushrooms in ideal conditions.
For more information on our very first mushroom discovery in our compost bin, the purpose of mushrooms, and why they are great in composting, click here.
Surprised by the results? We are too!
In fact, we are highly encouraged, excited, and thrilled! You see, composting in Singapore happens even with neglect – and we don’t mean this in a very licentious way. Composting in/outside your apartment doesn’t mean you can just leave your food and household waste unattended, assuming that they will turn out manageable, non-intrusive, odourless and effective like ours.
In fact, composting without first setting proper conditions can yield really smelly and unwanted results. One of our earlier entries records a very strong stench coming out of our compost bins because it had become anaerobic (meaning the compost bins did not have enough air or oxygen in them). Moreover, there were noticeable number of flies because of the smell.
However, when we added hay to the top of both bins as a “cover” for all the compost materials, it acted as a really effective biofilter – all smells from the compost piles had been effectively filtered by the hay, thereby emerging into the air completely odourless. This also led to a fly-free and bug-free result! For more information on why and how we got hay, click here.
The hay also helped to keep warm compost temperatures in. This is highly ideal for composting, as a warm compost pile means an active compost pile.
So we noticed that the pink (left) bin had exhibited some good results with the appearance of mushrooms – one of nature’s effective decomposers. What about the green (right) compost bin?
So we noticed that some of the material in the green (right) compost bin are still in their original form, especially the egg shells. But this is really normal as egg shells are high in carbon/calcium that take much longer to break down. If you prefer, you could crush the egg shells before adding them into the compost bin, but we decided not to as we wanted to create some air spaces inside the compost bin to aid an aerobic process.
That’s all we have for you in this entry! 🙂 We hope we have brought you greater and interesting insights about composting in Singapore (apartment), and how easy it really is. This also applies to anyone who lives in a tropical climate and would like to start composting the fuss-free and extremely low-cost way.
As aforementioned, we truly found hay to be an amazing material to add to our collection of ‘browns’. So we highly recommend you to use it too! Like us, you will be pleasantly surprised by its usefulness.
We promise more updates on our compost bins soon! By then, we hope to bring you some yummy goodness – otherwise known as “black gold” or fertiliser for plants 😉
Lastly, if you like what we are doing and our method of reducing the need for harmful incinerators and landfills, do support us on our Facebook page! Help us promote responsible and green living. Like you, we love Singapore. You and I can each play a part in sustaining our clean and green environment.
Have fun composting!