Galvanized trash can composting.

fmart322(Z6SNJ)June 2, 2014

Hey everyone, hello.
I wanted some input. I have a galvanized trash can just sitting around doing nothing for me, can I use it for composting?

In my mind:
I figure I'll just drill some holes in it and I'm pretty much done. Just add yard
waste.

In reality:
I'm sure there's more to it than just that.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Too small a volume to develop and maintain sufficient heat to compost.
Need 3' x 3' x 3'.

This post was edited by jean001a on Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 19:30

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fmart322(Z6SNJ)

Thanks. I knew it sounded way to simple.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 4:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

Well, if you have the space 3 of those 3' cubes would be ideal.

On the other hand, slow composting can work for smaller volumes. According to this table (Potential Survival of Fecal Pathogens in the Environment) baddies are gone in six months (except Cryptosporidium, which shouldn't be a problem, unless you run cattle for your compost.)

I am adding used coffee grounds and egg shells to my plastic trash can composer (no holes, run pretty dry, mostly old compost) and relying on the 6 month rule. Well, that and I conservatively grow no root or leaf crops. Fruiting plants only.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toxcrusadr

It will work, you don't really have to have a large hot pile to get compost, but it will be slower. Note when you drill holes through the galvanized coating, rust will begin there. It will take awhile but just be advised the can's years will be numbered. Keep it moist but not too wet, leave the lid ajar for air, use a good brown/green mix, and you'll get some compost. Once you're hooked you'll be making more piles too.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

You could put just one tap in the can and consider it the world's biggest Bokashi ;-)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cold_weather_is_evil(9)

>> Too small a volume to develop and maintain sufficient heat to compost.
>> Thanks. I knew it sounded way too simple.

Composting really is "way too simple."

I have two 30 gallon plastic trash cans nearly full of noxious garbage under a small layer of old compost and dirt for the smell. When I get my next pickup truck load of manure, they'll be the core of the new pile that will sit until next year. "Pile", not "composter." Because you do not need heat to compost unless you're in a hurry, there is no volume too small.

One of the reasons I save the stuff is the local birds, violent vicious voracious destructive descendents of the mighty dinosaurs, have learned that edible bugs are exceedingly rare in the Summer desert except behind my house. A couple of cactus wrens or mockingbirds can flatten a pile in days.

EDIT: I forgot to be paranoid enough today, but lazygardens jogged my dim memory. A common problem with people who feed pigs slop from galvanized trash cans is (or used to be) that the little meathogs are often victims of heavy metal (iron) poisoning. The acids from the foods are the source culprits, and the symptoms range all the way from failure-to-thrive to death. Dunno if that's a problem for humans doing gardening-type things.

This post was edited by cold_weather_is_evil on Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 15:48

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

No ... it will rust out extremely fast because of the moisture, the organic acids from decomposition, and damage you did to the protective galvanized coating.

==========
cold_weather_is_evil ... I have remesh bins with plastic poultry netting around them to keep small stuff in and birds out.

They do tunnel enthusiastically, don't they?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 3:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cold_weather_is_evil(9)

double post...

This post was edited by cold_weather_is_evil on Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 15:49

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toxcrusadr

I wouldn't worry about toxicity from the corrosion, since you are not eating the contents like pigs would. Iron and zinc are already present in soil, they are not particularly toxic there, it would take huge amounts to substantially change their concentrations, and even if you did, the plants take up only what they need.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 1:29PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Earth, The Operators Manual
This 3 part series may be of interest to some here. http://www.pbs.org/program/earth-the-operators-manual/ kimmq...
kimmq
bread in compost
New to composting and confused now. What is wrong with...
jamb
Bark (not dog)
What size should the bark "chunks" be to...
Gary
lobster shells,,,what to do
Tell me what you would do if you had 15 lobster carcasses. We...
flowersnhens
Weeds and pollinators
Spring is just around the corner, uh huh yes it is,...
kimmq
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™