How long should I expect my Speedibin to last?
About 25 years, depending on the abuse it gets. There are many of the original Speedibins that have been in use continuously since 1989, 31 years! The founder of Fresh Earth Products, Joyce McMenamon, has four bins that she has been using for 30 years. They are still going strong. The galvanized screen on the bottom lives in the toughest conditions and will most likely need replacing after several years. Ultimately, these bins are metal, holding acidic soil and getting dings from forking over, so they will eventually rust and need to be recycled. Great value though: at $399 over 25 years, they cost less than $2 a month, way less than Netflix plus you are making your own soil amendment!
Why are Speedibins not made of plastic, like most composters?
Speedibins are designed to keep out rats and other vermin but rats can chew through plastic. Rats are one of the main reasons people won't compost at home. We have removed that obstacle by making a composter out of metal. No gaps are more than 1/4 inch so even mice can't chew in. Our goal is to make backyard composting as easy and safe as possible.
What type of maintenance is involved to keep my Speedibin looking great and lasting for years?
Clean occasionally with warm soapy water and touch up any scratches with rust-proof paint. Make sure the ground where the Speedibin is placed remains level with good drainage.
How do I replace the bottom screen?
You can easily replace it with 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth from a hardware store. It should cost about $5. The screen is 27.5 x 30.5 inches (70 x 77 cm). Hardware cloth is usually sold in 36 inch rolls so you can simply bend the edges to fit the bottom snugly.
Where should I put my Speedibin?
Make sure that the ground is level so that the screen lays flat. It needs to be on earth so that microorganisms, worms and water can transfer. Do not put it on concrete or wood. Make sure the ground underneath drains so puddles do not form under the bin. The bin breathes from the bottom as well as the sides and you do not want it to go anaerobic. If it is in sun it will speed the process slightly but if it is too sunny, the compost may dry out and necessitate watering. You will probably want it fairly close to the kitchen so that is convenient to dump scraps. You will be doing that more frequently than taking finished compost to the garden.
Do I need more than one Speedibin?
The Speedibin is larger than most backyard composters and one unit should be all that is needed for the average family living on a city lot.
For larger lots on half an acre or more, community gardens, or schools - we recommend starting with two Speedibins. This allows you to fill one while the other finishes making compost. You can always add another Speedibin if two are not enough. Some co-operatives use five Speedibins! Check out our blog on this topic: Managing Your Compost With One Bin.
Can I compost meat in my Speedibin?
Yes, with some qualifications. Meat, fish, bones, prawn heads, even dairy will stink if not composted carefully. You need at least a couple of feet depth of lively compost to start. Bury the stinky stuff in at least six inches of active compost, cover with a couple inches of carbon-rich browns and then wait patiently. That high-nitrogen protein takes months rather than weeks to decompose. But the worms love it! You will be enriching the compost. The bones remain but they make great slow-release bone meal, especially if you crush them.
Should I wear gloves when assembling the Speedibin?
Yes. While we make every effort to remove metal burrs or other sharp edges, some of the panels and the bottom mesh may still have sharp edges or points. Once the Speedibin is assembled, all exposed edges are folded and safe to handle without gloves.
Where is Speedibin made?
The Speedibin is made in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada, by Cobotix Manufacturing Inc. Renowned for their precision fabrication, they use a CNC punch to ensure cutting accuracy. The panels are powder coated in-house.
The Scholar composters are made in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. A metals engineer cuts and bends the corrugated sheets and a Red Seal carpenter builds the panels using red and yellow cedar.