Saturday, April 16, 2011

Critter Identified/Great Compost Bin Found!!

An unidentified critter has been breaking into my compost bin.  I have an old bin made by Smith & Hawken with a (supposedly) latching lid.  It looks like this, but more worn out & a little warped:

Most mornings the lid is off & there is debris spread out over my yard.  Ugh.  I tried putting a brick on the lid, but that didn't work.  I put a cinder block on there and the whole bin was pushed a few feet over, with a little trail of compost coming out the bottom.  I tried leaving my dog door open later so my dog could go out & maybe scare away critters, but that didn't help.  I tried keeping food scraps out of the bin for a while, only putting yard clipping in it.  Still got broken into & spread around!  Who does that?!??!  So I decided to stalk the little culprit & see who he or she was.
Oops.  It was my dog.  No wonder letting him out late at night didn't help.  I caught him jumping onto the bin, somehow removing the lid, and having great fun with the compost.  This might also explain those mystery bouts of diarrhea he had :(
So- he can open the bin and push the bin.  This is not good.  I began searching online for solutions.  Turns out when you type "dog proof compost bin" into search engines, you get a lot of information on composting dog poop!  Who knew?  Amazingly, also some information on composting human poop!  That is apparently common enough that it has it's own name: Humanure.  News to me, and although I do try to be green, not something I feel like trying yet.
OK, back to the dog issue - I found a great, sturdy, *securely* latching bin that even my dog (who, it turns out, may as well have thumbs) can't break into!  He did push it a couple of feet once, but only when it was mostly empty.  Now it's too heave for him.  Success!  It's called the SoilSaver, and so far I am super happy with it!
This is the bin:
Note - that is not my yard in the background, my yard is way more chaotic than that.

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