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on August 19, 2009
This is my first compost tumbler purchase and so far it is working very well. I used to have a "bin" of sorts in the far corner of our yard but having to turn it with a pitchfork regularly and putting up with the critter raids in the night got to be too much of a hassle. Not only does this model not take up much space in the yard but you get a good upper body workout turning it everyday. I have only had mine for a couple of weeks and I am already starting to see results. Unlike the reviewer who put shrimp and fish heads in it, I read ALL the instructions including the section titled, "What NOT to put in your composter". I also did some reading on the subject, a great book called, "Let it Rot!" by Stu Campbell. It is very simple to understand and learn how the 'chemistry' of composting really works. This saved me alot of time and disappointing mistakes before getting it right. My first load consists mostly of garden waste, ie: dead annual flowers and green foliage including chunks of soil caked around the roots of the plants. The rest is kitchen scraps consisting of crushed egg shells, carrots (cut up in small chunks), potato peels, etc. Also, don't put any corncobs or corn husks into it, it takes forever for these to break down. I also purchased a small bag of compost starter just in case I needed it but I have yet to use it. On the bag instructions it tells you to add small amounts of top soil between the layers of waste. With all of the plants I've added with the soil still attached, I had a pretty good amount in there right off the bat. My first load was pretty full, I could barely turn it the first couple of days but now two weeks later I can see things breaking down already. The level has settled down several inches and it smells like freshly tilled soil. I can't wait to spread it around all of my new young trees in the yard! This is a great product, you just have to do a little research ahead of time to save yourself from disappointment and wasted time and energy, which is true of any style of composter. Too many people buy products expecting instant results with little to no effort on their part. Do some homework. I also love the fact that it is made entirely of recycled plastic! I have mine sitting in a sunny spot in the yard so it heated up pretty quick. I would reccommend this product to anyone serious about reducing their output of waste into landfills and helping to save our planet. The benefits are great!
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on July 25, 2008
I bought a composting bin a number of years ago, completely oblivious to what is involved in composting. Toss stuff in and it "magically" turns to compost. Wrong! Compost has to be turned, I later learned. So the bin was emptied and has been sitting in my backyard for quite some time as it does not facilitate easily turning the compost (or turning it at all for that matter). I came across turning, tumbling, and spinning composters and selected this one. I transferred the stuff I had been tossing in a trash can (in hopes of the "magic" happening) into this composter. Wow! One week later, and it looks and smells wonderful! It still has a ways to go, and I still have more learning to do on the subject, but this composter has made the job very easy--almost not a "job" at all! I will more than likely continue composting for years to come because this composter makes it so simple and clean.
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on May 25, 2009
I'm a beginner composter from a generation of gardeners. I discussed with experts on what type to get for lawn clippings, kitchen waste, and leaves. Spins with a little difficulty because of weight, but creates steaming hot compost quickly.

Set up took 2 minutes, simply connect the 6 pieces of metal pipes together, insert screw, no tools necessary. Did it myself, 5'7' 115 lb female.

Really great, I shopped everywhere. Only concern or other people is that it's a 6 or 7 cubic capacity, people may need more space..

also, does not have a handle for spinning -- but it would be too heavy to use it. Well designed and thought out.
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on June 24, 2008
This is my first step into composting so I can't vouch for the output yet.

This is the best price I've seen for a spinning composter. It's pretty solid and I was able to put it together myself in about 15 minutes (just needed a wrench and a screwdriver). A second person might be handy when attaching the composter to the legs.

The door slides easily but is also a snug fit and the composter is easy to spin. It's made of pretty solid plastic with little airholes punched througout. Inner ridges and the spinning bar help break stuff up.

When this one fills up we'll probably order a second one so the first can finish its work.
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on September 14, 2009
I had been thinking about getting a tumbling composter for a while, and finally decided to give this one a try because it was low cost and eligible for Prime shipping. I got it very quickly.

Assembly was not difficult, but it was missing the two longer screws, which I happened to have available in my garage, so it wasn't a big issue for me. If I had to run out to the hardware store, or contact the company and wait for the screws, I certainly would've been annoyed. The leg pieces are not labled, you do need to lay them all out and determine which piece is which, there are 2 alike of each leg piece, and one of those pieces has a long and short side which is important to note. You need to get everything laid out and matched up properly or it will be skewed.

Important to note is the capacity. Nearly every other composter available lists capacity in bushels or gallons (dry). This one lists in cubic feet. For reference, 7 cubic feet is equal to 44.9 gallons (dry). That is about half the capacity of the "Original Compost Tumbler." Since the tumbling allows for faster composting because of improved oxygen circulation, and it is a "batch process," I am pretty pleased with that capacity. I do have a standing composter which this replaces, so I have a place to store an overflow should I have a lot of material at some point. We are using this for a residential property with landscaping ornamental beds, a 400 sq. foot veggie garden, and some kitchen scrap composting for a family of 4; we don't have a huge amount of material to compost msot of the time. I am mainly getting a second unit because I've been accumulating material in my standing composter (which I don't turn or otherwise bother with at all), and it's sitting, semi-digested to mostly undigested and needs to get processed. I cannot put my original composter back together until I empty it, so I need a second tumbler. One tumbler would probably have been sufficient if I hadn't been accumulating for 2 years. With two tumblers, the batching will be easier. I can fill one completely and tumble, while adding material to the second, until the first batch is complete, then start tumbling the second unit and begin adding materials to the first. I actually prefer the smaller capacity, because it will be easier to fill and batch, than if I just had one large capacity unit. Two of these units is still far less expensive than one of the dual chamber rotating composters, especially since this unit ships for free and the others do not.

It is sturdy, and I'm happy with the construction of the unit. I expect it to be durable. I do not know yet how fast I will process my compost. It will be hard to judge my first batches since they are partially digested from having been sitting undisturbed for up to 2 years. The standing unit that I did not properly turn was just taking way too long, in two years I had not had any finished compost (my own fault) I'm hopeful that the tumbling composters will process a batch in under 6 weeks during all but the coldest months (when we won't have much to compost anyway). I do have mostly greens, and I am not diligent about having the right ratio of greens/brown in my compost batches, so that may influence my results some. My composter does sit on a hill in full and direct sunlight (southern exposure) for 12+ hours per day (except the shortest days of the year) as I'm in St. Louis, zone 6.
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on August 28, 2008
Being a composting fan I did alot of research on composting tumblers. The Achla fits into my scheme perfectly. We are in the process of renewing some very poor soil and this composter has already provided 2 loads of much needed compost for our small garden in 6 weeks...now if they could just do something about the weather......
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on August 29, 2009
The composter is doing its job and I should be ready to harvest the first batch of compost in September 09. The composter was a little difficult to assemble so be patient in putting it together. Also, it was only after I received it that I learned that it is not designed to take a small amount of kitchen waste from time to time but rather large batches of material. That was okay as I already had a pile of kitchen and yard waste already stored. But if you are not ready then you are going to have to build a good amount of material before putting the composter to use. Turning it can be tricky because it gets fairly heavy when it is 2/3 full and it leaks through the sliding lid so wear gloves or be ready to wash your hands after turning it. Overall I think this was a good purchase and a very useful alternative to simply throwing away kitchen and yard waste.
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on June 2, 2009
I received this composter as a Father's Day gift in 08. Put it together and filled it up with leaves, grass clippings, branch clippings, and kitchen scraps. I let it cook for about 4 months, rotating every couple of days. The compost looked great. I tilled it in the soil of my wife's new flower beds. I had it located under my deck during the first batch. I moved it out to were it receives full sun now and it cooks the batches much faster.
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on July 10, 2009
I just received my Achla compost tumbler after ordering just a few days ago. Amazon is fast! The legs were inside as others have noted and bouncing around in there. All screws and instructions were included.

HOWEVER.....At the very back of the instructions is a notice that says that this composter is good for "batch" composting:

"Instead of adding small quantities of materials everyday, you put them all together in layers to make one big batch...If you have a lot of material you may need to stock pile them..."

What?! Where am I supposed to stockpile months of rotting food until I have enough to fill the composter? For that matter, if I'm going to have piles of rotting stuff sitting around, why do I need the composter at all?

I don't know if this will actually work if I add stuff on a daily basis. Does anyone have any insight on this?
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on December 16, 2009
The first thing I noticed when it arrived was how small it was. For $175 I expected it to be larger with better quality construction. The legs seemed weak.

Well... the weak legs held up, but THE DRUM FELL APART in less than 3 months.

The drum has a design flaw. The two holes on each side that support the drum during spinning are too thin and not strong enough to support the weight of the drum plus compost. The end holes fail by splitting up the center.

When I attempted to contact Achla to inform them of my problem, they never responded. So their customer service is also terrible. What a surprise.

Save yourself a $175 and create a compost pile in the corner of your yard. It's free! That's what I have been doing since this over priced plastic drum fell apart.
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