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Urban Compost Tumbler Review

Updated on January 8, 2011

Why Use a Compost Tumbler?

There is nothing better than your own homemade compost for great garden growth.  Unfortunately, a compost heap is not always practical, especially in built up areas!

Compost bins have evolved over the last few years and compost tumblers are becoming more popular as designs improve.  The benefits of using a rotating compost tumbler are:

  • Compact system, no compost materials slowly spreading across the yard!
  • Enclosed system – animal, pest and kid proof
  • Increased composting speed
  • Less odour
  • Less manual labour!

The Urban Compost Tumbler

The Urban Compost Tumbler system is a centre axle, rotating plastic drum mounted on a stand. What makes the UCT system superior to many rotating tumbler systems out there is its patented airflow design.

Airflow is the secret ingredient to great compost. It is quite difficult to get good airflow in enclosed systems and back breaking sometimes to turn open compost heaps.

Like most rotating compost bins, the Urban Compost Tumbler is an above ground-mounted design, which stops any problems with rodents and other pests. The height of the tumbler bin makes unloading the completed compost fairly easy too.

These compost tumblers come in two sizes, 7.5 cu ft (UCT-7) and 9 cu ft (UCT-9). The UCT-7 will be perfectly adequate for most gardeners wanting to make their own compost at home.

Some things to consider before buying:

  • As with any tumbler, you need to site the UCT on level ground.
  • As the compost materials rot down they can become quite compacted and upset the weight distribution making the drum quite difficult to turn. Turning daily is recommended.

Also note that composting in enclosed systems is slightly different to open compost heaps.

  • Careful attention is needed to the right mix of compost materials that you load into the drum than in traditional compost heaps.
  • Composting tumblers usually need less moisture than traditional compost heaps because the system is enclosed and moisture is retained.
  • Ideally, finely chop or shred the compost materials (aprox 2") for quickest composting times.

My biggest concern is the timeframe cited for compost production – 14-21 days. As someone who managed a commercial compost yard dealing with a couple of hundred tons of organic waste daily, I know that just because compost materials turn dark brown/black, it does not mean they are "cooked". This should not be an issue if you do not add poisonous plants, seeds, meat, fish or dairy products where you need the high heat and retention times to make these products safe.

That said the Urban Compost Tumbler is a good investment. Made from recycled plastic with a ten-year warrantee, the UTC is an ideal way to start making your own black gold from your yard, kitchen and garden waste.

Composting Accessories


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