Composting converts organic kitchen and garden waste into dark colored 'soil' like material that is high in nutrients. Composting is the name given to a method of breaking down organic waste, either aerobically or unaerobically. Aerobic breakdown is desirable because it is quicker and more environmentally friendly (there are no unpleasant odors if operating correctly).


    a. Organic waste such as garden waste and food (kitchen) waste when sent to landfill will ultimately lead to high methane levels (21 times more harmful than CO2). Methane gas is a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. This is what happens during the Anaerobic breakdown of organic materials. This is actually harmful to our environment.

    b. By composting you will contribute to reducing the waste that goes to either landfill or incineration and in no small way be assisting our planets environment.

    c. Compost will reduce the evaporation from your garden or vegetable beds and therefore reduce the water volume you use on your garden and vegetable beds.

    d. Compost will increase the health of your soil, so in the case of garden beds and vegetable beds, improve the growth of flowers, shrubs, trees and of course vegetables. Therefore also reducing the dependency on fertilizers to condition your soil.


    a. It's central aeration lung.

    b. It has insulated side walls and lid for year round operation - both to retain heat generated by the aerobic composting process and stop cold ambient air reaching the biomass.

    c. No turning or agitating of the biomass is necessary - simply drop and forget!

    d. It's vermin resistant.

    e. It will compost quickly.

    f. It has a Base & a Leachate Tank for collection of liquid nutrients dispelled from the biomass (green waste).

    g. Aerobin requires no accessories or tools.

    h. It has a moisture recirculation system.

    i. Aerobin composts kitchen & garden waste.

    j. Aerobin lowers GHG emissions.


    Decomposition or the breakdown of the organic matter is achieved by the presence and action of micro-organisms, that thrive in a hot, oxygenized environment. Hot composting is the action of microbic bacteria. These microbes are smaller than the eye can see, but these microbes work wonders in the right conditions. Like us they have some very basic needs to exist & thrive - which are the ongoing supply of air, water and a good balanced diet. Hot composting is desirable because it kills pathogens, inoculates weeds and their seeds and creates good quality compost in a relatively short period of time. Aerobic composting also dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions - methane gas in particular which is 21 times more potent than CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), which is a bi-product of anaerobic decomposition - what happens at landfill sites.


    Most importantly is that you provide a good balanced diet of organic materials (the biomass) to feed the microbes and deposit it in a way that doesn’t smother the pile or block free drainage.

    a. What is balance all about?

    A balanced diet is essential to good health and also good composting. The more balanced the biomass is, the more microbial activity and the easier it becomes to manage the composting efficiency of your Aerobin.

    b. How do you gauge moisture content?

    The microbes need to be in a moist environment. The materials that you load into your Aerobin should have sufficient moisture so that when squeezed they feel like a moist sponge or mop. If the biomass is too wet, then the microbes will drown and anaerobic bacteria will take over. If too dry the microbes die and the process stops. These microbes are just like us - what sustains us also sustains these guys!.

    c. You need variety for successful composting!

    The surest way to avoid overloading the biomass with too much of the one material is to mix all materials together as much as possible. This avoids concentrations of material that may not help the balance of the biomass within your Aerobin. A good mix also means that moisture levels are not going to be too extreme and air is available through the biomass.

    d. Why are odors important?

    Odors can tell you how your compost is working:-

    If it’s a fresh earthy smell - this means the composting process is working well - it may even have a sweet smell - well done!

    If there is no smell at all - this means that your biomass as a whole is either too dry or there is a layer or more creating a physical barrier to the airflow and there is nothing happening. You will need to remix this material (empty your Aerobin) to achieve more balance and variety. Add higher nitrogen materials like lawn cuttings or kitchen waste or fresh leaves so that your biomass then feels like a moist sponge when squeezed.

    If there is a distinct rotten egg smell - this means that you biomass has gone or is going anaerobic - probably because there is too much moisture and nitrogen rich materials present. Again you will need to empty your Aerobin and remix this biomass adding scrunched balls of newspaper and cardboard or dried lawn clippings or leaves until you achieve that moist sponge measure.


    It makes sense if you kick start the operation of your Aerobin by following these suggestions. Its not essential but it will simply hasten the composting effort in your Aerobin:-

    a. Firstly load into the base of the Aerobin a 10cm layer of either dried leaves or twigs or product from the nursery like Sugar Cane Mulch. This protects the drainage floor from blockages while you start your composting effort. If you are already composting and have healthy compost available simply load a 10cm layer into the Aerobin.

    b. Seed your bin with a moist active compost - this can be purchased from your local garden center or nursery (making sure that it is not sterilized). This will add healthy levels of microbes to your Aerobin.

    c. Then begin adding your ingredients to the Aerobin. But before you do this check out the Compost Simulator available on the website.


    So here are some likely situations and recipes:-

    a. Lots of loose dry leaves (lower nitrogen content) and grass cuttings (higher nitrogen content)

    Mix 2 parts leaves with 3 parts lawn cuttings. Load this mix into the Aerobin say in layers of 10-15cm. Between each layer then add balled (scrunched), shredded or strips of newspaper.

    b. Mixing garden waste with household kitchen waste

    Mix equal amounts of fresh leaves, dry leaves, lawn cuttings, pruning's and kitchen waste. It works well if you intermittently place 10-20cm strips of cardboard vertically into the biomass pile, to create air pockets, however this is more desirable than essential.

    c. Mainly kitchen scraps (higher nitrogen) and no garden organic waste

    Every time you achieve a layer of these mixed ingredients that is 10-15cm high in the Aerobin, then add a layer of balled (scrunched), shredded or strips of newspaper (never sheets) or mix the balled newspaper into the kitchen scraps and load together into your Aerobin - say 1 part balled newspaper to 4 parts kitchen scraps. Alternatively place 10 - 20cm strips of cardboard vertically into the biomass pile to create air pockets.

    d. If you have lots of fruit waste (high nitrogen and perhaps too much moisture content)

    This is generally too moist and possibly low in nitrogen. Mix 1 part fruit waste with 1 part other kitchen waste for extra nitrogen and 1 part dried leaves or newspaper to reduce the moisture content.

    e. You live on a farm or a you have access to manures (high nitrogen and sometimes too wet)

    Manures can be good for compost, particularly Horse and Cow manure. When dealing with manures, be careful to balance moisture as well as nitrogen as both are important.

    Horse manure/rotten cow manure: Mix 3 parts manure to 1 part dried leaves.

    Fresh Cow manure: Mix 1 part cow manure to 1 part wood chips or 1 part loose and course dried leaves.

    Sheep manure: Mix 1 part sheep manure to 1 part wood chips or 1 part loose and course dried leaves.

    Stable manure: Mix 3 parts stable manure to 1 part fresh leaves and 1 part scrunched paper or shredded cardboard.

    Chicken manure: Mix 1 part chicken manure to 1 part paper and cardboard and 3 parts fresh leaves or substitute 3 parts leaves with 1 part fruit waste


    a. It is common to have large amounts of paper and garden waste on the weekends and kitchen waste during the week. To maintain more balance, store paper, leaves and cardboard near the Aerobin on the weekend so it can be added evenly during the week. If your garden produces lots of leaf and lawn materials, try to store them to one side so they are mixed in even amounts with vegetable waste.

    b. Don’t add glossy prints or magazines as this may contain toxic pigments.

    c. Ensure egg shells or bulky items are crushed or broken up.

    d. The smaller the particle size the better - they will simply compost quicker.

    e. You will obtain the best results from your Aerobin if it is loaded to at least 50% of its capacity.

    f. Mulch heavier green waste materials or if you don't have access to a mulcher, lay this material on your lawn and run the lawn mower over it - it will break most light pruning's down to a size that will compost quicker.

    g. Go to the Aerobin website ( and access the software "Simulating composting in your Aerobin". This software enables you to simulate the balance between Carbon & Nitrogen, Moisture levels and the Biomass Density. Aim for the middle of the 'green bands' - and remember these results are a reasonable prediction of how your composting effort will run if you add the same materials and at the same volumes (weight) that you have inputted into the software simulation. If you change ingredients (adding some thing new) re-run the program based on the changes you intend making.

    h. Open the 2 Access Doors regularly to ensure ease of opening the doors is maintained. This limits the biomass pressure on the internal ledge of the Door (this ledge carries the CO2 filter breather holes) and is a good way for you to maintain an eye on the progress of your composting effort.

    i. Occasionally backwash the Leachate Tank using your garden hose or probe with a small screwdriver to ensure that there are no blockages in the Leachate Tank Tap.

    j. Always ensure that the Aerobin is installed on a solid foundation - never install your Aerobin on soil only. Its no different to a house - the foundations of the house determine the stability and integrity of the house structure - the same applies with your Aerobin

    k. The mature compost can be used in one of two ways. As a ground cover in your garden beds, vegetable beds or flower pots or dug into the soil. Both ways will add nutrients and micro organisms to your soil and increase the water retention.

    l. Leachate that you collect from the Leachate Tank should be diluted 20:1 with water, before you use this natural fertilizer on your garden beds, lawns, vegetable beds or flower pots.


    Aerobic composting has basic needs and is a living process. How you operate your Aerobin will determine the efficiency and the effectiveness of the composting effort in your Aerobin (and for that matter pretty much any Composting device). Composting has been with us for millions of years. Aerobin is simply a device that provides an environment that supports Aerobic Composting. All that you have to do is to ensure that you follow the simple recipes and provide the necessary balance of ingredients essential to successful Aerobic Composting.

    Good luck & good composting