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Experiment. tell me why this wouldn't work

 
pollinator
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Hi y'all! So i just got my 65 gal composter bin (i know, i know, i coulda made it out of pallets or mounds, but hubby's requirements for my experiments is that they at least look pretty lol) i'll be pilling with mostly used pine pellets bedding and manure and urine from my two buns (plus veg scraps that don't go to the worms, egg shells, etc) OH! And coffee grounds (i almost forgot about the coffee grounds! thanks Starbucks!. I've seen multiple youtube vids about composting reactors and no turn composting where they used pvc pipes w/ holes. i have multiple pool noodles (from the dollar tree) that i want to use instead. What you think? I figure that by being inside the bin, it would minimize uvb degradation of the plastic, and noodles are plenty porous while holding their structure.
 
pollinator
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Vanessa Alarcon wrote:Hi y'all! So i just got my 65 gal composter bin .... no turn composting where they used pvc pipes w/ holes. i have multiple pool noodles (from the dollar tree) that i want to use instead.



Hmmmmm....so a pic of your 65 gal composter, a couple of the pool noodles, and the orientation of how you want to place the pool noodles into the composter would help other people see your solution.  The main concern I see is that you will need to empty the 65 gal container at some point when the composter is full....how do you see the pool noodles faring then?  do you want to handle them if they break?  they won't look so nice or smell so nice when it comes to cleaning the container out.

...second concern is your mix sounds very wet...soup will end up inside the pool noodles so you will need to watch the consistency of your compost so it doesn't end up filling the pool noodles....again, what plan do you have to empty them?

 
Vanessa Alarcon
pollinator
Posts: 121
Location: Treasure Coast, Fl
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here's a pic. it's open at the bottom. i was thinking of adding 2 or 3 pool noodles cut to fit so i can still put the lid on. i can also carve additional holes on the noodles to aid in aeration (as you would with pvc). These are old, used pool noodles that i would be giving a second use to. This composters have doors in the bottom to give access to the finished compost but if i gotta empty it out, i'll lift it out of the way and shovel the uncomposted material back into it. as far as breaking down, you are right. i definitely do not want plastic in my compost, so if i start to notice that, out they go, but as it stands if i can re-use these old noodles and not put them in the recycle bin (which at this time, in my area, doesn't necessarily means it getting recycled) and they would help with aeration, i would rather use them. as far as the compost being wet: the bedding pellets do not absorb as much urine (because i change the litter before it does. these are free roaming, indoor pet bunnies) so a good percentage of them are still in pellet form. and as far as adding the grounds, they come pretty dry and i would only add as needed. if anything i think my compost might be too dry!. also it should be noted that the pool noodles were used in a pool with a desalinator and they have been exposed to rain (outside of the pool) since last summer.
composter.jpeg
[Thumbnail for composter.jpeg]
 
pollinator
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I would use wooden sticks instead of pool noodles. I'd be worried about the noodles breaking down over time and becoming toxic waste in your compost!
 
gardener
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I agree... Maybe find something else to use instead of the pool noodles. If they start to break down you run the risk of an awful lot of wasted compost (and the time put into it).
I'd use something else in the compost bin and find a different way to reuse the pool noodles.
 
Vanessa Alarcon
pollinator
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thanks to all. i guess i'll go to the ungarbage forum and get some ideas for those noodles.
 
pollinator
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I like pool noodles for idiot-proofing tight areas where I would otherwise keep hitting my head. One place they saved my face repeatedly was in a warehouse mezzanine in an area where the ceiling and rafters were low, and where the bay door tracks were also living. A few noodles split open the long way added as decent padding on I-beams, trusses, and tracks turned contusions and concussions into forgettable, annoying bumps that made me feel silly.

There are ways to upcycle pool noodles. I would never put styrofoam in with compost, though. I can guarantee that they will degrade into your compost, leaving tiny bits of blue and/or pink to contaminate your soil until you pick them out or they are incorporated into something's diet (eeew, yuck!). Ask me how I know.

For me, such questionable materials are best incinerated at appropriately high temperatures to generate electricity, or else used in such a way that they are encapsulated from the elements, including air, and performing some necessary function as they do.

One example of this approach is using them, slitted lengthwise and fitted like those terracotta roofing tiles, but to form a continuous barrier sheet, used as wall or ceiling insulation, literally sealed into the building envelope. This would take a lot of noodles, but for instance, a continuous sheet of these things wrapped in landscape cloth and buried their length in a greenhouse's perimeter trench could effectively insulate the ground under the greenhouse from freezing in the winter, making four-season growing possible in some climates.

Even conventional drainage tile is a better idea to augment your bin. I can't speak for what the hard plastics might leach into your compost, but it probably won't be any worse than whatever might leach out of the plastic walls of your bin.

Oh, and as to that, I am also a bunny keeper, and we use raw wadded paper bedding for its compostability, but I find that as the mix accumulates on the perimeter, it acts as insulation for the hot composting that happens in the middle, where I add kitchen scrap contributions. I don't know if aeration will be your problem, unless your bunny litter is sodden and chock-full of poops.

I think your experiment would work, but the results would be less than what you'd hoped for the system as a whole.

But let us know how you proceed, and good luck.

-CK
 
Vanessa Alarcon
pollinator
Posts: 121
Location: Treasure Coast, Fl
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Thanks Ck 😊 I won’t be going the noodle route. I was hoping to use it instead of pvc but I’ll figure out something else to do with them. Hate throwing them out. As far as bunnies, I recommend that you look into the equine bedding pellets. They are made out of compressed pine and really absorbent! And at TSC you can get a huge bag for $5. I don’t know about you, but we go through a lot of litter. Mine are potty trained. You may have a different set up from mine so if your bedding works for you, great!
 
gardener
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we also use the noodles for head-smashing places, and for places where the car tends to bang/scrape/etc (urban farm, tight space and too many vehicles).

i also think that the whole point was to try to encourage air circulation, and I don't think noodles permit flow, they have air cells. I got really excited about a hole-in-the-middle compost pile after reading The Good Life (Nearings) and tried to replicate it a few times with the drilled PVC pipe and even one time by stacking wood the way they describe in the book, but my compost still was cranky so I went in another direction (the bunnies now eat 95% of what used to go in the compost pile). My bunny mess goes on the garden (I sift out the poo to use in manure tea and the hay/paper shreds/leftover food/etc all gets put to use as mulch). But shavings+poo+pee+your kitchen scraps should make a nice hot compost bin!
 
Vanessa Alarcon
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Tereza Okava wrote:we also use the noodles for head-smashing places, and for places where the car tends to bang/scrape/etc (urban farm, tight space and too many vehicles).

i also think that the whole point was to try to encourage air circulation, and I don't think noodles permit flow, they have air cells. I got really excited about a hole-in-the-middle compost pile after reading The Good Life (Nearings) and tried to replicate it a few times with the drilled PVC pipe and even one time by stacking wood the way they describe in the book, but my compost still was cranky so I went in another direction (the bunnies now eat 95% of what used to go in the compost pile). My bunny mess goes on the garden (I sift out the poo to use in manure tea and the hay/paper shreds/leftover food/etc all gets put to use as mulch). But shavings+poo+pee+your kitchen scraps should make a nice hot compost bin!



Thanks Tereza! you got it! I wanted to increase air circulation using what i have. But that's ok. I'll find something else to do with them (Maybe some xmas wreaths, lol) AND all of this started because of the bunnies! (It reminds me of the book, "If you give a mouse a cookie" but instead my version would be "If you give an animal lover a bunny"

If you give an animal lover a bunny, then she'll want to have 2; because no one wants a lonely bunny.
If you give an animal lover a bunny, then she'll need to start a kitchen garden ASAP because bunnies always act like they are starving (even when they just ate!) and it is super adorable to see them munching on greens.
If you give an animal lover a bunny, you'll have to start a compost pile or two because HOLLY CRAP CAN THEY POOP A LOT! and you don't want to just throw that out in the garbage, do you?!

 
Tereza Okava
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Bunnies: the gateway drug. Then the cycle is endless- the poop makes everything grow, so you have to plant more. I've now got movable runs in my garden for the rabbits to mow the grass that grows in the paths, so we have landscaping services involved as well. Now if only I could get them to dig where I need dug rather than wherever their little bunny hearts desire....
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