Yesterday, I asked Joe if our compost bins were good news. He said, “I’ve never been more happy.”

He then said that we have developed an apartment composting method that is completely fuss-free, and still yield results with no unwanted side effects (e.g. odours and pests).

Likewise, I’ve never been more happy 🙂

Today, we present you another weekly update on our compost bins – complete with pictures.

Our two compost bins

Where we place our compost bins - right outside our HDB apartment, beside our plants!

The left and right bins are now 5 weeks old and 7 weeks old respectively.

Notice how we had put the “do not touch” labels inside the bins instead of blu-tacking them to the top edges. This proved to be more stable for the labels, and still would not affect the composting process since the bins remained largely uncovered. (Note: Covering the bins would likely result in a smelly anaerobic composting process.)

Top close-up view of right compost bin

Top close-up view of left compost bin

The bins were, once again, left completely neglected for another week, thereby exposed to the frequent rainy and hot/humid tropical weather of Singapore.

And like always, we are pleased to report that the bins had remained completely free from odours and pests, whilst yielding some promising composting results 🙂 We did notice at most two tiny hovering flies, but that was all. Completely normal.

Here are more pictures to show a completely pest-free surrounding:

We are honestly quite bored of reporting the same thing, but here goes: No bugs.

A closer look for the still-disbelieving 😉

Also notice how the top layer of hay remained dry for both bins:

Top view of right compost bin

Top view of left compost bin

As you can also see, the mushroom in the left compost bin have completely shrivelled up and are gradually disappearing from sight. We believe their withered remains are slowly decomposing into soil/compost along with the rest of the materials.

For more information on how we found the mushrooms in the first place, click here.

Now let’s see the bins in detail, starting with the RIGHT compost bin:

Overall side view of right compost bin

As you can see, the volume of the materials in the right compost bin has shrunk quite significantly as compared to its original volume on 29 March 2010:

Compost material in the right compost bin on 29 March 2010 (Note: Hay was not yet added, and the bin was still covered at that time)

Next, the long white stem seemed to have disappeared. We could not find it at the area where we first spotted it. (For more information on how it looked like, click here.)

However, we still noticed the white bud. Seems like it hasn’t gone anywhere:

The white bud - part of a mushroom perhaps?

A closer look

The egg shells in the right bin also stayed largely intact:

Visible eggs shells in the right compost bin

As in our previous entries, egg shells are high in carbon/calcium, which would take more time to break down into compost. If you prefer, you could crush the egg shells before adding them into the compost bin, but we still decided not to as we wanted to create some air spaces inside the compost bin to aid an aerobic process.

Here are more observations of the right compost bin:

Some green algae/fungus

Paper and other materials that had broken down and turned porous

Materials near the hay/top remained relatively dry and intact (Picture 1)

Materials near the hay/top remained relatively dry and intact (Picture 2)

Materials near the bottom turned dark brown/murky

Dark brown material at the bottom vs drier/intact materials near the top

The picture above is an example of how a compost bin will work well with 4 essentials: sufficient food, air, warmth and moisture.

Due to the drier conditions (hence little moisture) near the top surface of bin, the materials there will take longer to break down into compost. You can improve this situation by ensuring the 4 essentials are met, or add more ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ using this layering method.

Now on to the LEFT compost bin:

Overall side view of left compost bin

As you can see, the volume of the materials in the left compost bin has shrunk quite significantly as compared to its original volume on 20 April 2010:

Compost material in left compost bin on 20 April 2010 (Note: Hay was not yet added as cover material)

Similar to the left bin, we noticed that the material in the left compost bin had turned porous:

Material turned porous in the left bin

Likewise, material near the bottom of the bin appear dark brown and murky:

Seeing some compost, anyone? 🙂

So that’s everything we have for this week! More updates coming up again the following week, where we have lots of interesting and unique posts in store for you.

Stay tuned! 😉

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