August 9, 2013

Q&A

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What can I compost in the Urban Composter?

All types of food scraps can be added. These include greens, meat, fish, citrus, dairy, coffee grounds, wilted flowers, egg shells and more. We recommend cutting up scraps into smaller pieces to allow for quicker fermentation. Make sure proteins such as meat and fish are thoroughly sprayed with accelerator. (no bones or excessive liquids).

Is the Urban Composter suitable for apartment living?

Even if you do not have a garden you can use our Urban Composter to reduce your food waste and so benefit your home and the environment. If you have a balcony mix the contents of the Urban Composter in a large tub of soil. This will turn into compost which will nourish other pot-plants. If this is not possible, many councils have regular organic waste pick-up. As a last resort even if you put the contents in the garbage you have reduced the volume of your food waste by about 300%. As the food scraps have broken down in the Urban Composter there will be less negative impact of harmful gases going into the atmosphere. Plus you will have produced your own organic fertilizer which your plants will love.

How do I use the Urban Composter?

Cut up your food scraps and add them to the Urban Composter Bucket. Add a few sprays of Compost Accelerator onto the scraps every time they are added. Drain the juice from the bucket every few days. The juice can be diluted (1:100) with water and used as a fertiliser for the garden. It can also be drained into the sink as an organic drain cleaner.  You can find more information on our website here.

What if my Urban Composter develops a strong offensive odour?

It is very important to drain the juice from your composter every few days to avoid any stronger smells. As you open the lid you would expect a fermentation smell. When you open the lid to add more food scraps and when you daily drain the liquid, there will likely be a fermenting odour. If an offensive smell occurs, you can use a mix of vinegar and water directly onto the food scraps or any organic cleaner to reduce this odour.

How should I clean by Urban Composter bucket?

It is important that you don’t use chemicals as this will kill the microbes in the accelerator spray. Any organic cleaner can be used to clean your City or Urban Composter bucket, or you can also use water mixed with vinegar or lemon juice.

What happens when my bucket is full?

Ideally leave the scraps in your Urban Composter or City Composter for one week after filling, to ensure all food scraps are properly fermented. Next ensure all the juice is drained, then bury the remaining pulp under soil, or place it in a compost bin or pile. The food scraps from your Urban Composter will continue to break down and will become compost in about 6-8 weeks.  This compost can be used in garden beds or as a fertiliser.

Should maggots or flies appear in the Urban Composter bucket?

If the Urban Composter lid has been left open it is possible for flies to come in and lay eggs. This is more common in warmer climates and during summer months. Very quickly the fly eggs will turn into maggots. If this happens to you, empty the Urban Composter and bury the contents. Rinse the bucket will with water and clean it using an organic cleaner or a mix of water and vinegar, cleaning around the lid seal very well.

My Urban Composter bucket has a leaky tap

A small number of Urban Composter Buckets may experience a slight leak from where the tap inserts into the wall of the bucket. This is caused by the way the tap is installed and can be fixed with some plumbing tape to tighten the seal around the thread of the tap.

Occasionally, the nut on the inside of the composter which the tap screws into has been inserted the wrong way around. The nut is a very tight fit, but if you can try taking out the nut, turning it around and re-inserting it.

If the leak is from the tap itself, tighten the tap just below the lever to turn the tap on/off. If this does not work, contact us and we will send you a replacement tap.

A build-up of liquid should not be allowed to accumulate in the bottom of the Urban Composter. It is important to drain off the liquid everyday.

See our video which trouble shoots all tap issues;

What if my lid is hard to open or close?

The Urban Composter bucket lid is designed to be a snug fit. As the Urban Composters are individually manufactured there may be slight differences and a few people find some lids hard to open.

For the Urban Composter, if you find that the clip on the lid of the Urban Composter is tight you can soften this by applying heat from a hairdryer for a minute or so. The clip will also loosen with use. Always apply pressure on the lip of the lid at the front of the Urban Composter – this will open and close the clip.

For the City Composter, if you find the lid is hard to open try putting some vegetable oil around the top of the bucket where it contacts with the lid. With use the lid will soften and become easier to open.