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Plastic containers / trash cans?

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Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  butterwhat on 8/6/2014, 2:42 pm

I am interested in starting to compost in plastic containers or trash cans.  Does anyone have any experience with this?  I'd especially love to see any pictures of your bins!
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  sanderson on 8/6/2014, 5:21 pm

I know there are a few folks here that have, or have had, barrel composters. Maybe they will speak up on their experiences.
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  faari on 1/17/2015, 4:41 am

We did pay for them, they aren't cheap but to find some that are fresh, and not sitting on a shelf in a big box store for who knows how long is a blessing!!
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  AZDYJ2K on 1/28/2015, 1:52 am

I live in Chandler, AZ and the city gives us free compost bins made out of old trash and recycling bins.  The city cuts the bottom half off and drills half inch holes around the container.  They drop them off at your curb by request.  Great program.
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  has55 on 1/28/2015, 4:40 am

@AZDYJ2K wrote:I live in Chandler, AZ and the city gives us free compost bins made out of old trash and recycling bins.  The city cuts the bottom half off and drills half inch holes around the container.  They drop them off at your curb by request.  Great program.

Now that a city investing in its citizen and the environment.
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  sanderson on 1/28/2015, 4:47 am

I would just hope the city thoroughly washed and scrubbed the used containers. Amazing what some folks put in waste containers - used motor oil and fluids, pet poo and litter not bagged, cleaning fluids, etc.
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  jimmy cee on 1/28/2015, 9:51 am

I personally see no problem with plastic containers as a compost saver, however one needs to aerate. mix, water and cover if needed.
My tumbler is only used during winter when I am able to move it close to the house for table scraps.
My 2 compost piles, I wouldn't give up for anything.
I've learned a little and hope to learn lots more regarding composting in the future.
To me composting is as much fun as gardening.


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Plastic Storage Bins

Post  brianj555 on 11/16/2017, 11:53 am

I realize this thread was leaning towards using plastic for compost bins, but I was wondering how you guy's feel about using 10 gallon plastic storage containers for tomatoes?
Walmart has a Sterilite 10 gallon storage bin on sale for right around $4.00.  This would be a much more reasonable price than purchasing any 10 gallon planters that I have found.  The bins are about 14" tall and 18" x 12" rectangular.  
I have read a little about the possibility of some of the products used to make the bin could leach out into the soil.  I was wondering what would be the difference in that and any other plastic container used for plants if any? 
 I also thought about lining the container with garden/weed fabric, but it seems like the stuff could also leach out through that.
Then I thought about lining the bin with a thick outdoor garbage bag, but that is also plastic.  
What do ya'll think?
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  countrynaturals on 11/16/2017, 2:20 pm

@brianj555 wrote:I realize this thread was leaning towards using plastic for compost bins, but I was wondering how you guy's feel about using 10 gallon plastic storage containers for tomatoes?
Walmart has a Sterilite 10 gallon storage bin on sale for right around $4.00.  This would be a much more reasonable price than purchasing any 10 gallon planters that I have found.  The bins are about 14" tall and 18" x 12" rectangular.  
I have read a little about the possibility of some of the products used to make the bin could leach out into the soil.  I was wondering what would be the difference in that and any other plastic container used for plants if any? 
 I also thought about lining the container with garden/weed fabric, but it seems like the stuff could also leach out through that.
Then I thought about lining the bin with a thick outdoor garbage bag, but that is also plastic.  
What do ya'll think?
I use whatever I have and never think about what it's made of. Shame on Me! Embarassed My only complaint has been that after a couple of years they get brittle and crack/crumble into uselessness. Mad I have read that fabric planters are awesome cuz they let the roots breathe, but I've never tried those. geek
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/16/2017, 3:50 pm

I often wonder about the plastic food-grade buckets that I sun-warm the water in. Even though they are food-grade will they eventually leach into the water as they get brittle? And what about the PVC hoops and plastic netting dripping down onto my MM and plants. And on and on it goes...
Rolling Eyes
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  sanderson on 11/16/2017, 3:58 pm

Brian, Here's my take / experience with plastic containers. I use 16 gallon totes for sweet potatoes. They are solid dark colors so the sun doesn't get through and heat up the Mix. Keeping the roots cool is important. The dark plastic is probably loaded with plasticizers. Shocked

As far as tomatoes, I plant extra ones in 5-gallon food-grade white buckets. The problem with white plastic is that it allows sunlight through and the moist Mix can get too hot. So, I wrap them in regular aluminum foil and top with chopped bedding straw to keep the roots cool. Summer plants - hot heads and cool feet. Wink

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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  brianj555 on 11/16/2017, 4:22 pm

@sanderson wrote:Brian,  Here's my take / experience with plastic containers.  I use 16 gallon totes for sweet potatoes.  They are solid dark colors so the sun doesn't get through and heat up the Mix.  Keeping the roots cool is important.  The dark plastic is probably loaded with plasticizers.  Shocked

As far as tomatoes, I plant extra ones in 5-gallon food-grade white buckets.  The problem with white plastic is that it allows sunlight through and the moist Mix can get too hot.  So, I wrap them in regular aluminum foil and top with chopped bedding straw to keep the roots cool.  Summer plants - hot heads and cool feet. Wink
ok.  Great!  Do you find that your 5 gallon buckets are large enough?
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  sanderson on 11/16/2017, 5:13 pm

Yes. Several of us use buckets for tomatoes (extra tomatoes for me). I personally start off with Mix 2/3 of the way up to the first ring, removing leaves as they grow taller, filling with more compost until the buckets are filled to the first ring. The aluminum foil fits under the ring. Others use the orange HD or blue Lowes buckets.

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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  brianj555 on 11/16/2017, 9:38 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yes.  Several of us use buckets for tomatoes (extra tomatoes for me).  I personally start off with Mix 2/3 of the way up to the first ring, removing leaves as they grow taller, filling with more compost until the buckets are filled to the first ring.  The aluminum foil fits under the ring.  Others use the orange HD or blue Lowes buckets.
So the plastic HD and Lowes buckets also need to have something between the soil and the side to keep it from leaching?  
I noticed for about another $1.50 each, I could get those 10 gallon root bags.

I would like to use these, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t last more than a couple years and even though I would like the extra room the 10 gallon would give the roots, it would take twice as much MM.
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Re: Plastic containers / trash cans?

Post  sanderson on 11/16/2017, 10:33 pm

In the 16-gallon storage totes for Sweet potatoes, I only have commercial weed fabric at the bottoms and a few inches up the sides. Just to keep the MM from washing out the bottoms. Same for the 5-gal buckets.

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