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240 of 246 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2010
I have desired a compost tumbler ever since I first heard of the idea. It seemed like the perfect solution to all my composting woes. Over the course of 25 years, I have periodically checked in on the market. Each time I was dismayed at the ridiculously high prices. Each time I resolved to make my own compost tumbler...an ambition that ultimately went nowhere. So when my wife and I walked into Costco and saw the Lifetime 60021 for $99, I was ecstatic!

Assembly was pretty darn simple, although my 15-year-old daughter had to help briefly with two of the steps. I already owned an electric drill and an assortment of Philips head bits, so the assembly was quick, painless, and fun. In fact I loved the way the thing was designed and how well it went together.

Not following any one set of directions, I mowed up bunches of dry leaves, dead weeds, musty piles of grass, wood chips, and kitchen scraps with my rotary lawnmower, and dumped the contents of the catcher into the composter. It had enough room for many such loads. Then I added, ultimately, 12 gallons of water along with 1/2 cup urea.

The freezing temps at night have been no deterrent to microbial action. Every morning when I open the lid to monitor the progress, clouds of vapor rise off the warm mass. I'm extremely pleased with several things: 1) how easy it is to mix the contents, 2) how much material it can hold, 3) how well it retains moisture, 4) how well it provides oxygen to support aerobic decomposition, 5) how sturdy it is, and 6) how much value I got for my money. We will certainly buy a second tumbler, and perhaps a third. (The back yard is large and home to more than 60 trees.)
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225 of 232 people found the following review helpful
The best compost I never made was the large pile of composted leaves left behind by a previous owner of a house previously owned. Ever since inheriting that magical pile or organic gold, I've been on a futile quest to create my own compost. Unfortunately I'm no alchemist and too lazy to do a good turn of my compost pile.

The Lifetime Compost Tumbler, packaged in an awfully big box, seemed to be the ticket for easy compost. Directions state "two adults required to complete assembly." With some stress I assembled the tumbler by myself and regretted the absense of a second adult assembler several times during the process. On one step I used a pair of long handled pliers to hold nuts on the inside while I screwed on bolts from the outside. It was a stretch, but I mangaged. You'll need an electric drill to make your own predrilled holes, phillips screwdriver, 3/4" wrench and socket wrench with 3/4" and 1/2" sockets.

The finished unit feels quite sturdy and looks like a big space ship has landed in the backyard. When empty the composter is easy to turn. When full, it takes some exertion. For some reason there's a locking pin assembly on the outside of the unit that locks the tumbler in place and prevents turning. I learned from trial and error to turn the barrel by rolling it towards myself. Turning it the other way keeps engaging the locking pin.

I placed the unit in an inconspicuous spot behind the screened porch. Since one should keep the compost ingredients moist, I wish I had placed it closer to the garden hose. It's not too much work,though, to fill up a watering can and carry it to the composter.

A How To "Booklet" comes in the box with the composter. I learned about blending browns and greens and adding moisture and nitrogen. When you add water, there's some dripping onto the ground beneath. To prevent erosion, either place the composter on grass or place a drip board or concrete splash blocks underneath.

So far my composter has been somewhat of a success. By turning it once weekly, I've managed to speed up the composting action and witness the gradual, magical transformation of kitchen and garden scraps into black gold.
In my post purchase readings, I've learned that it's best to fill up the composter all at once than add bits of incredients little by little. A larger initial mass speeds up composting and might generate some all important heat.

Freshly cut grass clippings are a good source of nitrogen as are blood meal, ammonium sulfate, or urea.
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260 of 275 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2010
I purchased the Lifetime Tumbler at Costco. I've been looking at compost tumblers for some time and happened to stumble upon the 75 gallon unit for $99.00. The only issue I have is that the brackets that hold the cylinder together started to rust after only a few months. Now, they are completely rusted and one has snapped in half. I found the Lifetime website and could not find any sign of the compost tumbler, parts, or faqs. Hmmmm....So, I e-mailed them to see if I get a response.
I would assume these parts are at least galvanized but maybe not.
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92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2014
Why I refuse to buy any LIFETIME products: I just walked in from my backyard, ticked off again by my LIFETIME 80 gallon outdoor compost tumbler I bought from Costco. It is five years old now, but I haven't been able to use it for the past three years. After two years of use the hinges on the door rusted through and broke. I contacted LIFETIME via email seeking to replace the hinges. I didn't demand free hinges, I just inquired whether I could get replacement hinges. I was willing to pay for them, provided the expense wasn't too great, even though I believed they should have lasted more than two years. I received a defiant, almost angry, reply from a LIFETIME representative (a man whose name I do not recall) stating that LIFETIME would replace the hinges this one time but would never replace any other parts, and told me to never again request parts. The response was insulting. I let it go, waited for the parts and then they arrived. THE WRONG PARTS. I never pursued it further. I bought a composter from another manufacturer and decided I would jury-rig the repair of the LIFETIME composter with parts from the hardware store. I've never gotten around to that project. But every time I place compost material in the new composter I walk by the unusable LIFETIME composter and think "What a piece of crap." Whenever I encounter anyone in BJ's or Costco looking at a LIFETIME composter, or any LIFETIME product, I take a moment to stop and tell them my story. The failure of the LIFETIME product was bad, but the response I received from the company was insulting and compounded by incompetence. If I could rate this with zero stars I would.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
I have looked at many, many composters, before deciding on this unit. I too purchased mine at Costco, except that it was an 80 gallon composter versus the 75 gallon advertised here. I look forward to the day when Amazon price matches. In most cases, Amazon is a great company, with great prices!! However, I feel they would benefit, as well as us, if they would price match.

This composter, as many have found, is a very large composter, at a price much less than other way more expensive models. The poly outer structure satisfies a problem I had with a few other units with galvanized or steel outer bin walls. It does help having a second set of hands when assembling. However, with diligence, one person can assemble the unit. I look forward to the rewards of this unit.

I also have a large, 12' wide X 16' deep X 6' tall compost bin, a drive-in unit, that I use to process leaves, scrap mulch, etc. Anyone considering composting in a bed-type configuration similar to this, consider using a large quantity of Nightcrawlers to help in the composting. Nightcrawlers will not work very well in the Lifetime unit, as worms do not generally do well in environments of excessive heat. Just a thought for those that may be thinking of adding worms to your Lifetime unit, with the thought that worms will speed up the process. Don't get me wrong, worms greatly speed the decomposition process, but just not as suitable in a tumbler type composter.

Hope this helps the newbies out there. I thank those before me that provided me the feedback to make a sound decision.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
I bought this from Costco 3 years ago and it works great. I throw kitchen scraps in every week, some leaves and grass in the summer and each fall, I've had a large wheelbarrow full of wonderful black compost to spread in the garden. My only problem is keeping it full to make the most compost by the fall. I've begun filling it in the winter to maximize the potential. I saw some people add water. I've never done that. Just put it in a very sunny place so it can get nice and warm inside and nature does the rest. Others commented on rusting parts. Mine has been outside through 3 Michigan winters with ZERO rust. I highly recommend this composter.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2011
I have been looking at tumblers for years but never purchased them because of cost. This is a great reasonably priced tumbler. My husband didn't understand why people complained about putting it together; it was easy with the 2 of us.
A little hard to turn when full but still easier then turning the old way with a fork. Loaded with half finished compost from my old bin and turned out my first batch already and I love how easy it was to put in the wheelbarrow.

Update, Sept 2013: Worked great for 2 years now having problems with the tumbler filling up with water between panels. Wont get hot so it doesn't make compost anymore, even tried compost activator. Not sure how to fix this problem.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2012
I bought this from Costco 2 days back at 99.99 and it took me almost 4 hours to assemble it. The design is great and the material is sturdy but I can't understand why the assembly is made so tough. One has to drill 36 holes for the lids to fit while they could hav ebeen predrilled. For attaching the base frame with the legs there are 4 self tapping screws but one has to tap thorugh metal! The assembly could have been much easier if a thoughtful engineer had devised it.Will give only 2 stars.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I replaced my old square composter with this off-the-ground unit. It has an extremely stable base and good handles to grab for rotating the unit. I loaded it up with compacted dirt left over when I dissassembled my old unit and have been throwing in everything from watermelon rhines to FULL tomato plants here at the end of the season and it just handles it all quite easily. The latches and hinges are very heavy duty steel and I can't see where anything will, or could break. It could be about 6-8 inches higher to make unloading into a wheelbarrow possible.
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2010
After the first fall here at our new place. I decided that bagging and curbside disposal of leaf litter was both time consuming and a waste of potential compost. Simply raking leaves together and letting nature do the work wasn't fast or efficient enough.
I looked around and researched different models of tumble design compost makers. Not happy with what I found. The idea collected dust until I found this model in the garden section of a big box supermarket. My wife works there so I got an additional 10% off the sale price..
She got the display model so I didn't have to fuss with putting it together on my own. At first I filled it with loose, whole, brown, dead leaves. Not happy with the capacity, I dumped it out, collected all the leaves together again and leveled the entire pile with my lawnmower. Only then was I able to put the pile of leaves that I had collected last fall into the unit.
We add household scraps almost daily and there is nothing but an earthy compost smell. The "tea" that leaks out will stain concrete. A long, narrow feed trough underneath will catch this runoff. I mix a cup of this into a watering can to feed my plants with great results.
The insulated design helps to maintain the heat and activates thermophilic bacteria to break the material down quickly. To compost efficiently you need carbon, nitrates, moisture and oxygen.
I'm very happy with this unit and plan to add a couple more later when they go on sale again.
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