280 of 286 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2007
I'm cooking up my second batch of compost with this great bin.
* Can be used for hot (active maintain) or cold (dump stuff in and forget about it) composting.
* Fully enclosed.
* Has a locking lid.
* Uses hard nylon screws & bolts that won't rust.
* More attractive than the chicken wire and wood frame composter I made.
* Good instruction booklet.
* Good airflow. (I was worried about this before using.)
* Fast hot composting (about 5-6 weeks)
* 25-yr manufacturer's warranty
* Haven't found the doors very useful. (They are not a problem either. More useful for a cold pile I guess.)
* Little difficult to turn the pile. (I usually remove the entire bin, and set to the side and refill the bin in the new location.)
The directions state that you must place this on level ground so the lid fits properly. I used a shovel to level out a spot and the lid fits great and stays locked.
Since nocturnal critters live in my area, I haven't used food scraps for this composter. (I use a vermiculture setup ( Can-O-Worms ) for that in the garage.) I use grass clippings, shredded cardboard and newspaper, leaves, and other chopped-up landscape debris to get a good mix of carbon and nitrogen.
238 of 244 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2010
I had purchased this exact product at Sam's in the spring for $40. I used it all summer and it was almost full. I decided that I needed another so that I could "turn" the soil in my existing bin. Sam's of course, no longer had any in stock so I began my search on the internet. This was the cheapest one I could find at twice the price (including shipping). I ordered it so the bins would be the same configuration in the small space in my yard. I wanted my composting to be as inoffensive as possible to my neighbors. I received the new bin in about a week-about 5 days quicker than promised. It was exactly the same as my other one. I put it together, placed it in my yard and began transferring the material from my old one to it. I was amazed at how well composted the material in my existing bin was! It had only been 4 months and I had not turned or stirred it once. I have done composting in the past in big "pens" and thought that was a superior method. I would turn it a couple of times during the season, but it was never as composted as this in such a short time. This bin works incredibly well. The perfect solution for people who want to compost but don't have a lot of space to do it in.
223 of 229 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2010
I'm sure there are many people like me; you want to start composting but picking a bin is just a total hassle. The prices are unbelievably high on some, should I get one that tumbles, it's big so shipping will be expensive too, etc. I was at Home Depot and bought a unit that was on sale but it was really flimsy so I returned it. Costco had one but it looked like a giant alien space ship; I like my neighbors too much for that. This unit seemed like an okay price, straightforward design, price a little high, but I finally decided it was the best of the ones I'd seen.
Bottom line: I really like it and I'm happy with my purchase. The plastic is recycled (kudos) and thick so it's sturdy. Assembly was easy with plastic bolts and nuts (so they don't rust) and they provided the tool. Took me 15 minutes and I was drinking beer - put a screw in, take a sip of beer, contemplate, repeat. About 12 screws. Design is very well thought out IMO.
Some notes: It has no bottom, which I expected. It has rain holes on top, not sure if that will be enough but I could add more. Comes with a very basic composting guide but helpful. It has two doors along the bottom which I opted (read: didn't notice until I was done) to put on adjoining sides but could have put on opposite sides. The knobs you see on top are the locks, one on each side, nothing it getting without turning the whole thing over, e.g. bear, dog, etc. Comes with a 25 year warranty!!! Made in Canada. I think this item is made for Sam's Club and I've seen good prices on it at their site but it was out of stock everywhere.
As an aside, compost doesn't stink. I received my kitchen bin first and started saving stuff. It adds up fast, you'll be amazed. So I needed a place to store it when that filled up and used a bucket and lid out on the porch, in the sun. Two weeks later it still didn't smell, fruit, veggies, cereal, coffee grinds, eggs - nothing...
See my pics of the unit above!
171 of 179 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2011
I've been using a Soil Saver compost bin for my kitchen scraps for more than ten years now. I really appreciate how I can add kitchen scraps to the top of the bin, and remove finished compost from the bottom of the bin, to add to my garden. While I have occasionally stirred the contents of the bin with a "garden claw" (the easiest compost turning method I've found, for this bin), I've also gotten excellent compost from this bin with zero turning! Composting is a natural process, but can take some time. It will happen faster if 'turned' occasionally, or with the addition of nitrogen-rich items such as horse, steer, or chicken manure. However, I've found the natural rate of composting of kitchen scraps of this bin to have kept perfect pace with my additions from the kitchen.
Tip: Put this bin somewhere that is easy to get to from your kitchen. It will be easier to make composting a way of life if the bin is convenienty located.
I like this bin so much, for its ease of use and quality, I'm buying a second one today, to place near my new vegetable garden.
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2007
We've had this bin for two years now, and it's worked really well for us. The construction is great and has stayed sturdy and in great working condition. We do very little maintenance on it, and our scraps still decompose faster than we expected. We live in a very dry climate with cold winters, but it still composts throughout the winter. We belong to a farm share, so we have lots of fruit and veggie scraps (along with our yard waste) that make their way into it, and it composts quickly enough that it never gets more than half full (even without removing the compost). We've also never had a problem with animals getting into it (besides the helpful little insects).
It is hard to turn the pile (which I think is true of any stationary compost bin), which is why we mainly leave ours alone. I'm sure it would compost faster with some help, but it's fast enough for us without the work.
62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
Lets start from the begining, first of all a worm bed and a composter are not the same thing. Worms cannot take the 150 degree temp of a composter, read the book "worms eat my garbage". A composter takes a balanced amount of nitrogen like grass, some food products (not meat), and carbon products like paper, leaves, etc. Nitrogen should be higher than the carbon.
When you have a full load of balanced ingrediants you start the pile by mixing throughly and wetting with water as you mix just to the point where it sticks together if squeezed in your hand. Then you leave it sit for a few days until the temperature of the inside of the pile reaches its max around 150 degrees. As the temp falls below 100 degrees again, you mix the whole pile again and add more water and start the process again. It only takes about two weeks once you start the pile until you get a great compost. If done this way you get no smell and awesome compost!
I have been doing this for about 20 years with great success. The black platic box helps keep in the heat,and allows a little rain water to get in. You can use a composter with a bottom but micro-organisms which help get the pile started and hot come from the ground,if there was a bottom on it,or like a tumble composter it will get hot but not quite as fast.
You can always add a shovel full of soil to an off ground composter, to help heat the pile once it is mixed and ready to go. I hope this helps!!
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
We bought this bin just days after moving into our new home. 8 years later, this bin is still doing a great job providing great compost!
I love that this is a great standard compost bin. I wanted a simple design that was easy to use.
The lid has a handle and you can lock the lid on each side by turning a handle. This is a great feature for if you live anywhere where wildlife could be an issue.
There are two doors on the bottom of the compost bin, which slide up and down so that you can remove the turned compost. Although this compost bin is very sturdy, the doors can be a bit finicky. Once you have a lot of compost in the bin, the soil tends to push against the doors, so once you pull one up, it can be tough to get it back down.
As far as my compost, I have been getting lots of great compost out of this bin. I use a biodegradable composting bag system in my kitchen, and all organic waste goes in the compost bin, year round. As soon as the weather is warm enough, the compost starts to turn. There are some ventilation holes in the bin to keep the compost aerated.
After 8 years, this compost bin is going strong. It still looks good and works just fine. It gets a lot of sun, and being in New England, we get a lot of inclement winter weather. However, none of that has been an issue for the bin. I don't see myself needing to replace this bin anytime soon in the near future.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
We own three Soilsavers - they work very well. Unfortunately, a large limb fell from our big oak tree during a storm and shattered one of the lids. The container part survived just fine.
I contacted the company and ordered the replacement parts needed, fully expecting to be billed. In about a week, we received shipment of a new lid, AT NO CHARGE. This exceeded our expectations.
We found the lid to be quite easy to assemble. It fit snugly onto the container. We were happy to fix the damaged Soilsaver and return it to service.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
My Soilsaver Classic Compost Bin has been in constant use for 4 years now, so it's time to write a review. I've been composting since 1973 with various heaps, home-made wooden bins, plastic bins, and wire cages. I've done this in various yards and in two different community gardens in downtown Boston. The Soilsaver is the best I've ever used. It isn't the fastest, but it's clean, sturdy, and well-sized for a small suburban yard. If you have a large suburban yard, get two of them. But beware, just one of these can be incredibly productive. I sometimes run out of ideas where to put the stuff.
Durability: I had my doubts when I put this together 4 years ago, what with the plastic bolts and the little plastic wrench, but in the process of a move from Massachusetts to Maine I had to take it apart recently. All of the plastic hardware is still as good as new. The thing is extremely durable, and they claim it's made from recycled materials.
Winter: The lid comes with two levers that keep it closed. These will freeze in the winter making it hard to open, so I leave the levers in the open position so we can still toss our banana peels and coffee grounds in year round. Decomposition slows down in cold weather of course, but it does continue. We are a 12-month composting family.
Ease of use: I find the sliding doors at the bottom quite useful. You need to keep the slides clean, but that's easy enough. Just wipe off the dirt. Then slide the doors open, stick a shovel in and start spreading. A fixed bin like this is not going to be all that easy to turn, but the mouth is wide enough that a garden fork can get in there and stir things up pretty easily.
Layering and Activators: Honestly, I think some people try to make composting harder than it has to be. Just throw in the stuff, and let compost come out the bottom. You can speed things along with layering followed in a few weeks by stirring with a fork. I always add a layer of garden soil when I finish a layer of green stuff. I've never used a commercial activator -- there's plenty of bacteria and bugs in garden dirt without going out and buying them.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2009
I bought my first Soilsaver bin a number of years ago. After about 3 years of use I bought a second bin. I plan to order a third this year. They are rugged, have a locking lid, easy to put together, and hold a good chunk of compost. I do recommend that you shop around online to find the best price though.