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Who'd have thought there'd be so much choice when it comes to compost bins?! I really want to invest in one. Can anyone give me any tips in which type to go for or avoid? Do those ones that you can turn work better? Will wooden ones rot? How long will it take before kitchen scraps turn into lovely compost? Any tips / opinions very gratefully received. Ta
hollie hock

I've got a darlek one as I don't have a lot of space. Did get some compost out of it last year. It's in a sunny spot and I put a mixture of paper, veg scraps and garden waste into it.


i have just bought one of those green plastis ones off the council and every year i get a bin of compost its behind my shed so dont get any sun i just take off lid chuck in the bits and shut it.

We have a Dalek too, does the job and if you turn the compost yourself it goes even faster. Needs a good 6 months but will be just in time for spring mulching. I read the turning ones work less well as they don't have the cubic area to let it get warm enough. The larger the area (ideally at least 1m2), the hotter it will get and the faster it will do the job.
I wonder...... which one is best traditional pallets or darlek? Have built the pallet next??to ??the darlek to experiment. Drilled some holes on my plastic compost bin to help air circulation


Lots of us with the dalek type bins have recently bought a 'darlac' compost turner, from amazon.  You sort of screw the end down into the compost (it's like a big corkscrew at the end), and then yank it up to turn the compost.  You need to get lots of air to it, to get it to work.  Some people add compost accelerator (bought some in Aldi last week for £4), or if you're a bloke you can drink beer and then wee on it (although I think this is an excuse used by nice next door neighbour to go & have a skinful at lunchtime and sleep it off in his shed at the allotment).  Others add a couple of nuggets of horse poo, or put in any type of poo from vegetarian pets (so no dog or cat poo), as the microbes poop contains help it rot down, all the accelerator is, is dried microbes & other nutrients.  so you can add poo from rabbits, rats, mice guinea pigs etc etc.

Daleks tend to be cheaper than wooden ones, so unless you're a whizz at DIY and can get pallets free, I'd go for daleks.  They also tend to be smaller, so better for smaller gardens, I'd agree that three is a good idea, but lots of us just don't have the space.

It might be worth checking your local council's website, lots of them do deals where you can buy a dalek quite cheaply.  My local council has a 'deal', but by the time you've added p&p, it was cheaper for me to buy one at JTF, £22 plus VAT.  Plus the fun I had by scaring small son thinking I was REALLY a dalek!!


MMP-and presumably there's the added advantage that they can't get up the stairs....

I contacted my council but they don't provide compost bins any more. A shame really as the recycling here is hopeless with so many bits and peces of bags, boxes and bins and i'm sure people would welcome easy to obtain compost bins even if they have small spaces. Think I might get a wooden ones for now so that I can add on to them once I reorganise the garden.


We've got two wooden ones at the end of the garden - they're in full view of the house and I prefer the look of wooden bins.  They're not fancy ones - like this but without the removable front

I'd have got these if they'd been available at the time as shovelling the compost out of mine is a bit of a faff (good for arm muscles tho )

A colleague brings me occasional bags of guinea pig poo which is fantastic for getting a compost heap going - we've had some really good compost out of our bins.

Thanks folks.

I have 2 daleks in semi-sun. 1 to fill and 1 to vegetate. It takes around 4 months in the summer, 6 months in the winter to make the compost. I add Garotta or similar every 4/6 inches and turn with an arrow type tool from Centre for Alternative Technology.

Am seriously thinking of getting a wormery to deal with cooked food, fish and meat bones, and have heard that they even deal with dog poo!

I conceal the daleks a bit with trellis and winter flowering jasmine.

hi i got some pallets and joined three sides together, and one fixed to the front that can be removed, i fill with scraps from the kitchen, horse poo, straw, papers , and grass cuttings , i started one lot in sept last year that was ready feb this year, turn it occasionally , its made a lovely mulch which is on the garden now,  good luck its all good fun

I built a large compost heap at the allotment, measures 10ft x 15ft x 5ft high, using fence posts, infilled with pallet planks. It's split into three separate compartments, so each one is at a different stage of maturity. Everything from kitchen and garden,except very woody stuff, goes on it, and the non-current bins are covered in old carpet. In the autumn I mix in old straw scrounged from local farmer after harvest is done, and this helps everything to blacken up very quickly.
Heaps are full of worms, including several little slow worms, which I am careful not to damage, although they move pretty quickly
Try not to add leaves as they rot down due to fungal action - they should be given their own heap, corner or sack, and left for a year or two.

I've got dalek bin and I got some lovely compost out it this year. 

with regards to the wooden compost bins with no hatch - how do you go about getting the compost out from the bottom?

If you make your own wooden compost heap, you have three fixed sides, whilst the front has sliding planks. If you fix two vertical battens on both side uprights, you can slide the loose planks down and the front can be opened at will. If you only want the bottom few inches of compost, wedge the planks up with a brick or two.



The secret to making compost -

  • Add both green and brown (ideally in layers)
  • Keep it moist (yessss, this does mean watering the compost bin)
  • Turning the contents at least once a month (compost bin needs air)


In order for a compost bin to work it needs 3 things. The correct ingredients and  moisture / air, otherwise the decompostion stops.

which ever design you decide. make sure you install a wire mesh / grid underneath. The consequences of not doing this is that you will ultimately have a family of rats burrowing under for a free meal.


we all went for this type :

It does frequently go out of stock, but keep checking back. Far and away the best composting tool I think for darlek bins. I was really chuffed with mine, it's the sort you'd never need to replace, stainless, one piece and a doddle to use. I have also noticed that I'm probably going to make decent compost in about 4-6 months by turning it once a week. Can't recommend highly enough.

a good place to try is GETCOMPOSTING.COM   if your local council is paired with them you will be given a discount on compost bins and they even have a buy 1 get 1 half price...   all you have to do to check if they are paired is enter your post code,  this is where i got mine from


hope this helps


we built two out of pallet and an old shed.. they have lift up fronts to get it out and lids to keep the heat in.. we turn it regularly and empty one each year.. gone in veg bed this year.. then turn the other one into that and start filling the empy one.. has taken 2 years to get the cycle going but now its up and running it is great..

get compost for post, mulch and veg.. throw in paper, veg peelings, toilet roll tubes, and garden waste. it is good idea to minimum of two going if possible