I loathe buying anything made from plastic. Are there plastic-free compost bins?
Kelly of London, Ontario
I completely understand. You’re on a plastic diet. And of all the diets – Atkins, Blood Type, 100-mile, Cabbage Soup – it’s one of the most challenging to stick with.
Most-city issued compost bins are made from plastic, probably because it’s durable, cheap to make, and keeps vermin out. You could check out options at local hardware stores, but chances are they’ll carry plastic varieties, too.
Aside from sourcing an alternative online, your best option is to do-it-yourself. Make a compost bin of your very own! That way, you can customize the size to suit your yard and reuse materials like scrap lumber, wooden pallets, cement blocks, wire, snow fencing, a garbage bin, or even an old barrel.
You can find many different compost bin plans online. Here’s my favourite link with a total of nine options by RRFB Nova Scotia: www.rrfb.com. They offer a list of materials and tools needed, as well as an image of the finished product!
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Keep in mind that no matter the design, location is everything. A common rookie mistake is to put the bin at the farthest corner of the yard. No matter where you live — whether it's a cold winter day in London, Ontario or raining in Vancouver, BC — make composting more enjoyable by making your bin accessible, so you're more likely to use it. Place it close to the door where you have a short path, allowing you to dash out at any time of year unscathed!
Lindsay Coulter gives you the straight goods on living green. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more great tips, visit The David Suzuki Foundation at davidsuzuki.org.