5

Is this compost bin rodent-proof?

enter image description here

If not, how to find a similar but rodent-proof or at least relatively safe one in that regard?

I want put put a compost bin in my backyard and put my food waste (mostly vegetable scraps without oily content) in it to create a compost and use it for my garden.

Why are you focussing on rodent-protection?

I heard compost attracts rodents.

How big is your backyard?

1500 ft^2.

Are the neighbors close?

50 ft away.

  • Could you elaborate on the problem behind your question? Maybe you will get answer pointing into a completely direction you did not think of in the first place. – Patrick B. Feb 10 '15 at 21:32
  • Thanks (also for the effort to compost). Why are you focussing on rodent-protection? How big is your backyard? Are the neighbors close? Selecting the right compost-methods depends a lot of the environment around the bin - that's why my questions. – Patrick B. Feb 10 '15 at 21:41
  • I'd put some type of metal screen over the holes (from the inside), then it would probably be more-or-less rodent proof. The holes look big enough to allow mice to get through ... they are flexible little buggers. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 10 '15 at 21:45
  • 2
    Are the rodents in your area of unusual size? – kevinsky Feb 10 '15 at 23:17
5

Yes, rodents shouldn't be a problem with a bin like this, if you set it on something. Mice might be able to get through those holes, but I'd just set it on three cinder blocks, to keep it up off the ground. You won't be able to get a super hot compost going in such a small space, but you can certainly can get some batches done in there.

I wouldn't be surprised if mice won't be a problem, either. I think squirrels (if they're in your area) will probably check it out, and possibly try to pull stuff out through the holes, but that will be the case with any composter.

Also, If you get a lot of precipitation in your area (like over 30"/year), and are going to be composting a lot of kitchen scraps, cover the holes in the lid, or it will get too wet and decompose anaerobically, creating a smelly, slimy mess.

3

On a small yard I'd rather use a compost container of this kind:

(image stolen from here)

It is made for (quick) composting. A dedicated object instead of your more universal product (can be used for burning waste as well). I have no personal experience with such a bin, my parents in law are using several of those on their small backyard and are very happy with it.

As to rodents or wildlife in general: a compost pile, even a closed one, will attract all kind of wild-life (they actually do the composting process) - rodents included. It is at least the smell which make them come by. Whether they stay or not depends also on what you put on the compost. Rule number one: no meat and avoid cooked stuff.

UPDATE: @anderas is right, the floor is open (to help worms get in, though they will their way in even with the one you have).

The other difference with the one you have shown is that this version has an opening on the side close to the ground where you can gather finished compost.

  • 2
    I can't tell what's the crucial difference between yours and mine. – qazwsx Feb 10 '15 at 22:23
  • The containers in Patrick's image usually have an open floor, though one might want to put it onto a mesh floor to deter rodents. Yours seems to have a closed metal floor. – anderas Feb 11 '15 at 13:44
  • @qazwsx I updated my answer integrating anderas info and one from me. – Patrick B. Feb 11 '15 at 20:27
  • 1
    Can I just catch some earth worms and put them into the bin? – qazwsx Feb 12 '15 at 0:19
3

If you can afford the space, and have a cold climate, a non-functional chest freezer can make a good composter. You will need to modify it as follows:

  1. Put a 4" hole near the base of one end, and near the top of the other end. Protect both with 1/4" hardware cloth.

  2. Attach a short length of non-perforated drain tile to the lower hole.

  3. attach a 3-4 inch fan, powered by a small PV array to blow air into the bottom.

  4. On the inside lay a coil of perforated 4" drain tile around the perimeter. Don't worry about getting this exact. You are just trying to feed in enough air for the pile to breathe.

  5. On the end with the high vent, add another hole at a lower corner. Insert a drain tube through here, and silicon seal both ends.

  6. Put it on blocks, with the drain end lower.

  7. Place a bucket to catch the compost tea.

  8. Optional. Paint the freezer camouflage colors, or paint fairies, flowers, frogs, and possibly a prince.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.