Robert Ray wrote:Can you incorporate IBC containers for the bottom of the compost bin Perhaps this would give an additional bonus of compost tea that could be recovered? Screened soffit vents for air circulation in the IBC sides if needed. Easily transportable with a forklift, rigid exterior frame. Access panels could be easily installed for both adding and removing finished compost. The IBC's are not attractive but they could be trimmed with fencing material to make them less obtrusive. I guess after posting and looking about this idea isn't anything new. However they do have containment stands that take in spills maybe incorporating one of those below your current bins would address the leachate issue.
Robert Ray wrote:In Oregon anytime a leachate is being introduced to the groundwater big alarms and flashing lights come on. Though the idea of a lush green apron to the front of the containers sound appealing an apron to the rear might be a good idea, many Nitrogen accumulating plants like alfalfa and rhubarb would create an obstacle if they were on the input side.
Ben Zumeta wrote:If you are getting leachate despite covered bins, is it due to standing backed up water from the pavement? Is the storm drain clear? Has the wood chip solution or something else clogged it? I like the other ideas above, and I generally would embed my compost in and above any garden I can, with soil contact so that leachate is absorbed by roots. It occurs to me mints might do fine in your shallow soil on the asphalt, and would turn the smell problem around to something pleasant.
Robert Ray wrote:The leachate, depending on quantity would be nitrate rich and raises red flags, think stockyard, even though your input is much or would be much smaller. The taller plants that I suggest as a nitrate scavenger are taller and might make a barrier to access to a feed chute. A trough of wood chips with the plants would in all probability would help with odors.
Robert Ray wrote:Mints are an excellent nitrate sponge
Skandi Rogers wrote:I would start with why you have so much liquid coming out of the bin to begin with, rainfall shouldn't be able to get into the bin so should have no bearing on the amount of liquid coming out of them. On the point on draining it, that's a lot of compost and a lot of nutrients in one spot soil will not be able to cope with such a huge input, you would need some form of filtration system. what comes out of the compost heap reflects what is going on inside, if you are getting a lot of stinky foul liquid coming out then the inside of that compost will also be wet stinky and foul. The excess liquid and the fact that is smells to me suggests that you have to many greens and not enough browns going in. Or I would guess in this case to many kitchen scraps and not enough paper/card/straw etc.
Ben Zumeta wrote:I understand what you mean about compromising in community projects, often with folks who don’t know what they are talking about or don’t seem to think they need reasons for their opinions. I have been a food forest site developer and manager for years, working with locals, tribes, schools, non profits and farmers. Almost all have been great, but those few that turn our water off or on randomly, mow our young trees (school district maintenance guys), spray roundup on parking lots upstream (same dumbasses) cut fences for no reason (gates we unlocked ya damn methheads!), break into shipping containers full of tools to steal or vandalize (I’d give them the food I grow with those tools!), have made me decide to turn my focus back to my own property, where I can at least do what I want and actually mount some kind of defense.
Using practices, such as cover cropping, that build soil organic matter helps to slow the release of nutrients so that they may be utilized by plants or soil organisms before being leached out of the root zone by irrigation or rain water... A study conducted in California coastal vegetable production showed that a winter cover crop of Merced rye reduced nitrate leaching by 70%. One experienced organic farmer uses an oat scavenger crop to absorb excess nitrogen in the winter. In Iowa, winter rye is commonly used. Mustards, grasses, legumes, or mixtures of these are typical winter covers, but the species of the cover crop isn’t as important as the crop’s ability to grow well in that location.
Ben Zumeta wrote:I would look into diagrams for bog or wetland gardens if you are allowed to do that on that concrete. If you really have say, I’d take a sledge to the pavement and at least crack it up, if not removing as much as possible, to create some drainage and help reduce Anaerobic conditions that are going to be your main cause of foul smells, which you mentioned being atop neighbors’ concerns. Otherwise gravel, pumice or used hydroton that is often free and easily flushed, could help either way, and the compost naturally mixing with sharp river sand or pumice/hydroton would make a good potting mix.
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