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Composting Handbook

Congratulations!
Y
ou are one of the wise earthlings that has realized the value of composting! Your new Speedibin is the ideal tool for easy efficient backyard composting.

Safe, easy composting with Speedibin
The Speedibin composter enables you to convert garden and kitchen refuse into rich compost in one to three months (longer in colder weather) without attract-ing mice, rats, raccoons, etc. Its 415 litres (110 US gallons) is ideal for most home owners, small enough to fit discreetly into a corner, yet large enough to heat up and work efficiently. It keeps moisture in, rain out, and is well ventilated. Made from baked enamel, precoated steel, it will give many years of trouble-free service.

Table of Contents
How it Works .................................................................................................................................................... 2 Assembly Instructions ................................................................................................................................. 3 Location ............................................................................................................................................................... 6 Getting Started ................................................................................................................................................ 6 How to Make it Work ................................................................................................................................... 7 What to Compost ....................................................................................................................................... 10 What Not to Compost ............................................................................................................................. 10 How to Use Your Finished Compost .............................................................................................. 11 Common Questions ................................................................................................................................. 12 Why Compost ............................................................................................................................................... 14 The Story .......................................................................................................................................................... 15 Warranty ........................................................................................................................................................... 15

1

How it Works
The Speedibin assists and speeds the natural decomposition of organic wastes brought about by hundreds of different kinds of micro-organisms. They all work eventually but the more desirable microbes which produce faster, less smelly action, require a warm, moist, dark, well-aerated, thoroughly mixed blend of organics containing the right proportions of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and water. The time taken for kitchen and garden wastes to convert into rich earth-like compost is proportional to the degree to which this environment is attained.

Composting Made Simple
1. Toss in your mix of greens, browns, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, lawn clippings, leaves, and even shredded paper such as the Speedibin packaging material. 2. If you can, in a few days or when it heats up, turn over the compost. 3. Grass clippings heat the pile. It if reaches 60C (140F) most weed seeds are killed. 4. When you have created a rich black loam – in a few weeks or much longer in the winter – use your compost on your garden. 5. Sit back and enjoy the lush growth in your garden!

2

Assembly Instructions

O

nly two screwdrivers needed: a regular flathead and a #2 Robertson screw driver (that’s the square-head with the red handle).

1. Identify all the pieces. Figure 1
A Lid B Handle with 2 bolts C Cam with set screw E Back panel

Figure 1

Top brace D

F Screws

Left side G panel

H Right side panel

I Screen J Bottom brace
COMPOSTER

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Made in Canada

K Front door

Parts List
A Lid B Handle with 2 bolts C Cam with set screw D Top brace G Left side panel E Back panel H Right side panel F Screws (8 plus 1 spare) I Screen 3 J Bottom brace K Front door

Assembly Instructions 2. LOcATIOn: Select a suitable area on the ground, preferable close to the source of your compostables. The ground must be level so that the screen sits flat. A sunny location may slightly speed the composting but may also necessitate watering. It needs to be on earth or grass. Worms and micro-organisms can’t get through concrete. 3. SIDeS: Slide one of the side panels into the back panel channel. Figure 2. Start with the bottom of the side panel inserting into the top of the back panel. Dark side outside, light side inside. Slide the other side panel into the back panel. Figure 3.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

4.

BrAceS: Attach the braces to the pre-drilled holes on the side panels using the screws and your #2 Robertson screwdriver. It is easier to do the bottom brace first (with the longer tab on the bottom). Figure 4.

2nd

#2 Robertson Screwdriver

1st

4

Assembly Instructions 5. 6. This is a good time to move the bin to exactly where you want it. Grab it by the back panel and brace. Screen: Using gloves or being ever so careful for barbs, put the screen on the floor of the bin. DOOr: Slide the front door into the slot you have made in front of the braces. Figure 5. HAnDLe: Push the spindle of the handle into the large pre-drilled hole in the lid. Using the small bolts provided, tighten the bolts into the handle through the small pre-drilled holes. Figure 6. Push the cam onto the spindle to the desired height, so that it will latch into the top brace. Tighten the cam onto the spindle with the set screw. Figure 7. LID: Put the lid onto the Speedibin, pop rivets to the sides.
Figure 5

7.

COMPOSTER

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Made in Canada

8.

9.

10. DOne! Figure 8.

Figure 6

Figure 8

COMPOSTER

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M ade i n Can ada

Figure 7

Tighten set screw into spindle

5

Location

P

lace your Speedibin in a location that will be handy to your source of materials, usually the kitchen. The ground needs to be level so that the screen sits flat—no rocks poking the screen up. If you place it in a sunny spot, it may compost slightly faster but may also necessitate watering.

Getting Started
he first layer in the bottom of your new Speedibin should be course and fluffy carbon-rich material such as straw, leaves, shredded paper, branches. This will help to keep your bin aerated. Next layer on some nitrogen-rich material such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds. Continue to alternate the layers. Top off with a layer of carbonrich material or, even better, some soil or old compost.

T

6

How to Make it Work

M

ost organic materials will convert into compost in one to twelve months, depending on how many of the following basic principles are followed.

The ratio:
To achieve the optimum ratio of carbon to nitrogen (about 28:1) you need about equal parts of nitrogen-rich GREENS and carbon-rich BROWNS. GREENS include grass cuttings, young leaves, plants, weeds, food wastes, coffee grounds, seaweed and manure, and cause the pile to heat up faster. BROWNS include straw, old leaves, dried plants and weeds, sawdust and cornstalks, and supply the necessary balance.

Mixing:
The more they are mixed the better, and one easy way is to put them in thin layers. For example, alternate layers of BROWNS and GREENS interspersed with kitchen waste and perhaps a little old manure or compost would be excellent. Grass, in particular, composts best when well mixed with coarse BROWNS to keep it from matting. Achieving the ultimate may require stock-piling some material in a separate pile, or even better in a second or third Speedibin where it is vermin proof. Leaves and coarse materials decay faster when mulched in a shredding machine or by running a rotary lawn mower over them and collecting the particles in a bag.

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How to Make it Work

Aerating:
Air is essential to non-smelly action. The Speedibin is just the right height for turning over the top layer with a pitch fork or using an aerating poker to get the lower parts. Push to the bottom, twist, and pull it up. The pile keeps shrinking but as you continue to add material, it reaches a stage where the bin is full and you should leave it. If this aerating is done several times a week during the lawn cutting season and the other principles are followed, you should have compost in a month from the last fill-up. To speed the action even more, remove the door, and fork the material from one bin into a second bin once or twice during the composting period.

Moisture:
Too much or too little water spoils the brew. Inside materials should look like a wrung-out sponge with no water drops and no dry places. If necessary, sprinkle lightly with water. It is generally best always to keep the lid on. It keeps moisture and heat in, rain and creatures out. Rapid decaying such as after a lawn cutting will produce moisture which will condense on the underside of the lid. This is good, but if the material gets too wet, leave the lid ajar for a day of extra drying.

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How to Make it Work

Heat:
Decaying organics produce heat and the more such heat, the faster the action. Larger volumes produce more heat. So, if you want extra fast action, add the components all at once (at least half a bin full), mix them well and aerate them frequently. Chemical compost starters are not necessary though a little well-rotted animal or bird manure, compost or bone meal may speed it slightly. It is interesting to measure the temperature in the middle of the pile with a soil thermometer or from the feel of an inserted steel poker. If the temperature exceeds 60 C (140 F) most weed seeds will be killed.

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What to Compost

I

f you are careful to exclude a few harmful materials, most kitchen and garden organic wastes make good compost material, vegetables, fruit, tea bags, coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, grass, plants, leaves, seaweed, sawdust, small amounts of shredded paper and cardboard, weeds if they have not gone to seed, etc. Woody or large material should be shredded with a machete, a lawn mower or a shredding machine. Thin layers of wood ashes add potash to the pile. Manure and other fertilizers can be used to enrich the mixture. Earthworms, especially red wrigglers, are good for the compost.

What Not to Compost

D

o not add any meat, fat, pet wastes or litter, human waste, diseased plants or vegetables, sludge, mud, gravel, coloured paper, non-biodegradable or toxic materials. It would be a shame to spoil the brew with any of these undesirable materials.

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How to Use Your Finished Compost

C

ompost is perhaps the best soil additive you can apply to your garden and can generally be used anywhere. It improves the texture, the chemical content and adds needed micro-organisms. To remove compost before the whole bin is fully converted, slide up the front door partly and shovel out finished compost from the bottom. If you have two Speedibins, you can leave one to finish “cooking” while you work on the second. When the second is full, the first will probably be ready for using. Remove the door and shovel the compost into a wheelbarrow to take it to the vegetable or flower gardens, etc. You may wish to use a course screen to remove the larger pieces, which can be returned to the bin for a second processing.

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Common Questions
My compost isn’t heating up
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There are flies in my compost
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How long does it take to get usable compost?
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The pile is wet and smells like rotten eggs
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There are ants in my compost
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The dogs and raccoons keep sniffing my compost
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Common Questions

Can I compost meat in my Speedibin?
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Why is backyard composting better than municipal composting?
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How long will my Speedibin last?
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Do I need to inoculate my compost?
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Can I compost lawn clippings with pesticides?
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Why Compost

I

t is one thing an ordinary citizen can do to actually help the envi-ronment. The disposal of huge quantities of urban garbage is a serious problem for cities throughout the world. About 25% of this refuse is kitchen and garden waste, which can be composted by individual homeowners with tremendous corresponding savings in collection and disposal. Each participant assisting the natural recy-cling of these organics is benefiting both themself and the commu-nity. As well as that, gardening and composting are happy activities, available to all ages. They encourage fresh potatoes rather than couch potatoes and help promote physical and mental health in their practitioners. A nation of more self-sufficient individuals is less vulnerable to disasters. Even small garden and composting activities are steps towards a better world. The makers of Speedi-bins hope you find this to be true and we wish you many bins full of top grade compost! The Francis Family Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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The Story

A

lthough the Speedibin composter was developed in the early 1990’s, it didn’t compete well in the market place with less expensive plastic bins. However, world thought has changed since then. Composting and backyard food production is becoming mainstream. This is wonderful for the planet: less trucking, less material to the landfill and more nutrients returned to the earth. But often backyard composing means that we are ringing the dinner bell for pests. Fresh Earth Products is eager to resolve that obstacle. We are tweaking the design and fabrication of the original Speedibin to create the ideal and affordable composter for backyard use. The daughter of the original inventor is working with an amazing team to make the Speedibin widely available. We wish you a continuous cornucopia of garden delights!

Contact Us
Fresh Earth Products PO Box 197 Merville, BC V0R 2M0 Canada Toll free: 1-888-701-2303 compost@speedibin.com www.Speedibin.com Illustrations by Sandra Lamb www.TwoLambs.ca
Made in Canada

©2012

Warranty
Speedibins are guaranteed to original owner for five years against cracking, deterioration, rotting, or any defect which would compromise their effectiveness as composters. This does not include damage to the bin by persons and no other guarantee is implied or expressed. If any such defect is found within five years from date of purchase, contact Speedibin: compost@ speedibin.com, or phone: 1-888-701-2303.