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Envirocycle Composter Review - How the Envirocycle Tumbler Works

Updated on May 9, 2015
Shredded leaves in piles
Shredded leaves in piles | Source

Probably the most popular compost tumbler today is the Envirocycle compost tumbler. Here is a look at the features of this unique composter, with it's compost tea "brewing" capability.

One reason this composter is popular is that for a tumbler it's relatively inexpensive. Many of the high end tumblers like the Compostwin can run into several hundred dollars, and while they do have a lot of nice features (things like a crank to turn the drum, a drum that is mounted on a frame above the ground, etc.) the price is well out of the range that most folks are willing to spend. Let's face it, people who compost are usually frugal in one way or another and bring that mentality to the table when purchasing a composter.

The Envirocycle compost tumbler is just under $150 and has several unique features.

Features of the Envirocycle Composter

The Envirocycle composter has a plastic drum that sits on rollers embedded in a plastic base. The basic idea is that you load up the materials in the tumbler, and process that batch of compost, turning it daily to keep rotation of the fresh material into the hotter center of the composting material.

The unique feature of this composter is that it drains the composting material, and this empties into the base of the composter where it is captured and can be used as a "compost tea." If you check the definition of compost tea, you'll find that this doesn't really qualify, since it is drained off the still composting material, so it is technically a "compost leachate", which is not quite as desirable. Still, there is some possibility of the yet uncomposted material leaching slightly toxic substances, but in general it's pretty safe for the garden.

As with almost any tumbler, one advantage is that because it's all one contained unit, you cut way back on the problems with vermin and other pests getting into the compost. The unit is basically sealed so they can't get in. This also means that you can control the moisture levels better that are so critical to getting fast compost. This is an advantage in rainy parts of the country and of course, a disadvantage to dryer areas of the country. Too much rain will saturate the composting material; not enough means to have to add some moisture.

The rollers make it easier to turn, but if you load it too heavily, it will tend to clump on one side making it a lot of work to turn the pile. Work up to loading it fully until you have a feel for how heavy it will be.

Things to Consider When Buying an Envirocycle

Like any tumbling composter, and like many other composters, if the compost is going to be processed in a batch, then you need to store the raw composting materials somewhere else while the batch is working. For a tumbler, this may just be a few weeks, but that is still longer than you can hold a queue in a compost pail or crock. So you may need another composter, or simply a pile to store the materials in while waiting for the current batch to finish.

With any composter, the materials you add have a major impact on the speed of the composting. You need a mix of high carbon (brown) and high nitrogen (green) materials, and the more they are cut up or shredded the faster the pile will work. Keep it as moist as a damp washcloth, not too wet and not too dry. If you can't have any soil or compost to throw in as a starter you may want to use a compost activator, but generally that's not necessary unless you start with mostly brown material. If you are using a lot of moist materials, it is possible to overflow the base of this composter, especially if you try to keep it indoors (like a basement or garage), so watch the base for overflowing. It can still fill up, even though it can hold up to 5 gallons.

The Results of Your Composting Efforts

Here is a sample of the veggies from our garden. Our soil is rich in compost due to some pretty easy efforts of many types of composting bins, including a tumbler. Try it!

Delicious! | Source


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    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 8 years ago

      Interesting hub and composting method... looks tidier and quicker than a homemade compost bin.