You are on page 1of 13


Ashley Schouten

The Garden Helper

Composting has been a technique that has been around for many

years; whether it is in the past or current time. It’s been known as a healthy

outcome of our wasteful habits. This was known as composting, and it has

been in use as a way to dispose of organic waste back into the earth from

which it came. The process was simpler; then, when newer technologies

arouse the technology allowed for further ways to complete the composting

idea in new ways and quicker.

Compost is an earthy smelling post organic waste. That’s the simple

idea and that’s what it’s all about. Organic waste is turned into compost by

the presence of microorganisms in the soil that the waste is in, it helps aid in

the process of degrading the waste.

“There are billions to hundreds of billions of soil microorganisms

in a mere handful of a typical, garden soil. That single handful might well

contain thousands of different species of bacteria (most of whom have yet to

be classified), hundreds of different species of fungi and protozoa, dozens of

different species of nematodes plus a goodly assortment of various mites

and other microarthropods. Almost all of these countless soil organisms are

not only beneficial, but essential to the life giving properties of soil.”


Given that these microorganisms’ are the very basic of composting we

E. foetida should also consider the use of

another organism that helps aids in

the decomposition of organic waste.

Another organism that aids in the

composting world would be red

worms, or Eisenis foetida (the

common red wiggler, similar in size

to the L. terrestris) and Lumbricus

rebellus (a smaller red or reddish violet color, not to be confused with the

Lumbricus terrestris, a larger red earthworm native to Europe, they would

die if used for composting).

L. rebellus

L. terrestris

Many designs have

included open air composting

and enclosed composting. Open

air composting occurs when

organic waste sits in a pile of soil

and is mixed (usually with a

pitchfork or shovel). The pile is

then allowed to aerate and be heated up by the heat of the sun’s
om rays. Some

open air areas have a small barrier around it, but not fully inclosing it, like to

the Chicken wired picture to the


Another design that allows air to

flow through it would be a design

like above. This design allows

you to have an almost
completely open composter, but

with a more solid container. It’s typically made of wood, and either has a lid

and a front cover like above (though they are removable for ease to access

it), or no lid and only three sides. These two designs are beneficial because it

allows you to have a larger amount of compost to make. This idea is also

used in bigger facilities that make compost to sell, and their design are about

10 times the size of a house hold container and are usually made out of

concrete slabs. (We see compost like containers like this that are in use for

holding other materials.)



As we move from open

(offsetting4you.c air containments and onto enclosed containments we see a variety of

designs emerge that take many different shapes and sizes. The one below is

a typical first composter that a consumer would either buy or make

themselves. It usually consists of a barrel that has had a hole cut through it.
The container usually sits on supports on its horizontal axis. Occasionally, a

consumer will modify their composter above so that it turns on this

horizontal axis, but that’s usually all the composter can do besides hold the

organic waste. The container needs to allow air into the mixture of waste,

and this is provided by holes drilled into the container or vents. Some

containers of this shape have a separation in the middle of itself. Though


presuming, it allows waste to be separated and moved to one side or the

other to allow proper decomposition

From this design we depart to a spherical design (Pictured on the

right), which was made to rotate. This design looks like a three dimensional

puzzle, which in a way, it was put together like such. This sphere rotates to

mix and aerate the waste. As shown above there are holes within each panel

of the container.

In recent times, composting can be taken indoors with smaller

composters of unique shapes. The next design was made for Electrolux by a

student, Thanat Tengamnuay. It is called the Circompo.

Circompo is a composter and garbage bin that decomposes

organic waste-especially food-using microorganisms that are kept under

ideal conditions of air, moisture and heat to speed the process. (Yanko


(Yanko designs) The next Design that was

made for the same Lab contest of

2007 was the Return Pot by Juan


Return Pot is a plastic decomposer that

turns plastic bags made from polydactyl

acid (PLA)

resin into

compost for
(Yanko Designs)

(Yanko Designs). This composter is by far

something that is brilliant in the solution to

decompost plastic that brings it back to the earth. (Yanko Designs)

The last unique design would be the Jarsit. It’s a Jar. It’s a Planter. It’s a

Composter. It’s a small composter that sits inside of a plant pot and takes

between five to six months to decompose a small amount of waste to be

released to the plant that is potted inside of the pot. As you have seen,

designs can range from open space to a tiny flower pot. While the more

unique designs are what we call pretty and functional, functional tends to

provide a bigger outcome.


There are a few fields of engineering that should be touched upon and

they are mechanical engineering and civil engineering. Mechanical

engineering is one of the biggest fields to discuss about and civil engineering

is second. As mentioned above, designs have varied over the uses of the

composter in life and many of these were due functionality and later on, size

and look of the container. The need for enclosed containments were in

demand because the consumer did not want the unplesant oder that emitted

from the waste, or they wanted to contain it somewhere, where it wouldn’t

be a bother and easier to make. This is reasoning enough for the start of

open containers and some fully enclosed structures to begin to take shape.

There is some demand for a fully automated containment structure, but that

has yet to be thought up (though there are semi-automatic containments).

Civil engineering is another important field of composting. Civil

engineering helps measure the impact of composting on the environment

(which usually is a very good plus on the environment),

and the impact on the populance. This is where

homeowners’ and housing sections regulations are put

into place if a place of living is going to house a

composter. While this is not true for some places, it

happens in others. This can put a hamper on things a

consumer can and can not do in the process of wanting

to compost.

As the reader, its fairly positive you may know

what this white paper is about, and what the product that will come from this

is a composter; though the idea put forth for this product will include two

things that have yet to be paired together for composting, but have

appeared before. The product that will be made will be the “Schou-Son 3 in 1

composting Garden Helper”. Quite a mouthful, so the common name will be

the Garden Helper. It’s a probable guess that you may be wondering what

this “3 in 1” thing is, now do you? That’s a very good question and the three

things are: a composter; a mixer; and a sifter. That’s it, it fits into one


Our product will be more portable than most for it’s capacity is 15

gallons and it will also turn on a horizontal axis. The support base would be

made out of sturdy metal and it would allow the container turn without

obstruction. The container would have two holes cut into it for one hole

would be used for putting the organic waste inside the container, and the

other hole would be lower to allow for compost to be removed. Inside of the

container there will be a chicken wired basket that holds the waste, and until

the container is spun around, it holds it the waste inside of it. The basket will

act as a sifter when the container is spun on the horizontal axis; this action

allows partial decomposted waste to fall through and be housed on the

outside of the basket for further decomposition. Turning the container will be

a wheel, permanently attatched to the top of the container. The wheel would

turn the whole container instead of the

basket, like in the original idea. On the

bottom, there is a cap. This cap can be

opened and allow excess liquid to be

drained off (which is good for a liquid


That’s it, that’s the basic idea of

the product that is planned to be introduce to the consumer market. In the

second half of this white paper, you will read about the whole process of

building, testing, and the results our the labor put into making this product.

(Part Two)During the building process, there are several changes that

happens to the starting container. The container is a blue plastic, 15 gallon


barrel that use to contain ingrediants for a certain type of soda (The soda in

question would be Dr. Pepper; accordingly it was flat, since the carbonated

water had yet to encounter the product prior). The container was empty of

the soda, but the smell lingers inside the barrel. They barrel is made of a

rigid plastic 2 HDPE (A polyethylene thermoplastic. A thermoplastic is a

polymer that can be heated tehn cooled to form something rigid.), and is

ideal in holding other items inside of it (like soil and organic waste). After

obtaining the barrel, it was measured and marked with specific measurments

is: Loading: 18” by 11” with a 2” overlap. The unloading side is 18” by 10”;

with a pencil on the plastic. In the mix of drawing on the lines and

measurements on the barrel, a face was drawn on one end of the barrel. The

face was of a romantisied pig, named piggy (It may become the appearence

of the composter in the end).

The next step in building the prototype would be cutting out the

openings that were marked previously. This next step leads into the first

problem, "How does the jigsaw make the first cut?" It was solved by drilling

two holes in opposite corners on the maked lines. From there the jigsaw

could be placed inside of the hole and cut on the lines previously made. The

plastic cuts easily and looks as if it had been thermo-cut. After cutting both

holes, we had to clean the sides of the holes and the plastic piece that came

originally came from the hole (this is due to excess plastic that would hinder;

the plastic isn’t particularly sharp either.)

After that is done, the inner basket needs to be formed from chicken

wire. This arised the second problem. “How will the basket get inside of the

barrel?’ The first answer was to use both openings to help it inside, but that

was idea was scrapped as soon as it was thought up. The question was put

on hold while the chicken wire was cut to almost the same size of the barrel.

From there it was wound up into a very tight cylinder and held in place while

a few futile tries were made to get inside of the barrel. It was then realised

that the basket will just be forced inside, then allowed to uncoil itself inside.

This proofed to be difficult as the chicken wire was sharp where it had been

cut (something that will be fixed in the final product); though it was just

pushed through and bent a bit to fit it inside. After some trouble we got

inside of the barrel. It was then allowed to uncoil itself. It was trimmed again

by just a couple inches so it would have a 2”-3” allowance above the

unloading area. Hooks will be attached to one side of the chicken wire to

allow for the other side to hook onto it and close the basket. After this was

done, the third question came up, and it was “How is the basket going to be

attached to the barrel?” This problem has been alleviated by just having

rivets hold it together.

This solvement of the basket connection led to how the lids of the

openings will be attached with. They will be attached by hinges and rivets

(which have been useful in holding hinges normally) to the barrel. The barrel

will also be closed by a latch that is also riveted. On the inside of the barrel,

there will be small strips of metal (Spot welded) to aid in keeping the lid from

falling inside. The metal will also be bent underneath itself to keep it from

poking the consumer.


There has yet to be a use for the little hole with the screw off lid yet,

but its propose may be used to let air inside while the barrel rotates. How the

barrel is going to rotate has been changed from the proposed permanent

wheel to a sturdy base that has rollers on it. The base is made out of metal

and would sustain the weight of the product sufficently.

Advertisment is the next order that would occur after the product is

complete and working; and with any product advertisment is the basis of any

sales pitch. The product would be advertized by first word of mouth and

flyers to provide new consumers on the product and productivity of the

product. Below would have shown the flyer or brochure (but it has yet to be

made, it will be for the final version of the white paper) the flyer would

include pictures of the final product, and brief descriptions of what the

product does and why it’s special. The price would also be included as well

as some basic ways to get started with composting.

The next step in advertisment would be showing the product to the

consumers and showing them what it does. The product would be shown by

how easy it is to opperate and use. “It’s perfect for the beginner!” would be a

slogan for the company when the sales pitch was born.

The company is a user friendly and have very good customer service in

any questions, for the company is very knowledgable in the science of

composting, weither it be questions about composting with the product or

even more in depth look at other ways to highten the composting time and

materials used.

The current design will start out with a new coat of paint after it’s

done, colored a bright pink to match a pig (maybe some muddy looking

areas would be used, for a more rustic look). The basic design would look like

a Sus domestica (A plain domesticated pig). The expansion of the company

would allow for bigger composters (that are still portable though), and that

design would look like a Bos primigenius (A Cow). No design will look like the

last for they would be all hand painted with safe paint (non leaded or


Composting is starting to be in higher demand for the notion to be

green becomes more and more apparent through out the country.

Composting brings in habits that can be kept throughout and be beniftial to

the earth; this is because the earth (the ground) becomes healthier with the

use of compost made from organic waste (which occurs naturally in some

places, but in others it does not).