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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Cleaning Plastic Barrel Toplef10Cleaning Plastic Barrel 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Cleaning Plastic Barrel I22gcj10Cleaning Plastic Barrel 14dhcg10

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Cleaning Plastic Barrel

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Post  H_TX_2 4/27/2012, 3:33 pm

I finally scored some 55 gallon plastic barrels for my compost. I have two piles just waiting for a compost bin to heat them into some black gold. The two barrels I will be using as compost tumblers were used to carry soy bean oil and the barrel I will use to hold the finished compost was used to carry diced tomatoes.

The two that will be used as tumblers are the kind with the two holes in the top and I will cut a door in the side. Do I need to clean out these two barrels used to carry soy bean oil? It is a plant substance but we are supposed to keep oily and fatty substances out of the compost. If not harmful then I don't mind just starting my compost in the barrel and let nature takes course. Would this take longer? Am I over thinking this? (Yes, I know I am)

The other barrel has a removable lid and it will be used for storage so I will clean it so that nothing nasty grows in it and to hopefully keep it from smelling. This one will be much easier to clean than the other two.
H_TX_2
H_TX_2

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Post  mapspringer 4/27/2012, 4:24 pm

I'd say "Let'er rip" and start your composting. From experience, my barrel once contained canola oil and it produced a nice wheelbarrow full of compost. After cutting your door hole, maybe get a pole and dry-wipe it out a little, if you'd like. Just remember that oil and water don't do well together Very Happy. Happy composting!

Cary
mapspringer
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Post  H_TX_2 4/27/2012, 4:33 pm

I also read that too much oil can interfere with the oxygen requirements needed for things to break down and for the organisms in the compost. Such a simple solution to just wipe it out and get started. I knew I was over thinking.
H_TX_2
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Post  givvmistamps 4/27/2012, 7:08 pm

These barrels aren't still holding oil in the bottoms are they? I agree wiping them out should be sufficient. It's not like the composting ingredients will be coated in the oil. Don't forget to drill air holes in them so the compost gets the needed oxygen. Holes in your storage container might be a good idea also
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Post  JustMe 4/27/2012, 10:41 pm

I'd wash out the ones that held the oil. Can you find one of those DIY car wash places? That way any oil would get washed into their water reclamation system and not on your lawn.
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