The Tyre Tower

Place to empty the compost toilet

1.

One way I like to make my precious dark compost for potting my vegetable plants is by using a car tyre compost heap. It produces rich dark compost with no fuss.

Send me a photo

Make a car tire compost bin. Send a photo of it. I need your ideas and ask you to share ideas for a better way to do this.

I stacked five car tyres (you can stack any number from 2 to 8 high) and made a very rough compost bin for kitchen scraps. I introduced a few wriggler worms from our traditional compost bin.

I did not need to cut the tyres. No need to use a knife. Simply stack them.

It works fine, however we need to improve the design of the top lid, and the base. Can you help? Take photos of your Car Tyre Compost Bin and send them to me. Focus on lids and bases.

2.

My car tyre compost heap is free. Used car tyres are free where I live. The first reason I made this change is because is easy on my back when making or moving the heap. I roll one tyre at a time. This is why I changed to use car tyres. Also, no toxic leeching from the rubber as some people have believed. It is easy to have several car tyre bins in several locations. They are super for emptying the kitchen food scraps. It is a simple, free worm farm. Makes works and compost. Disposes of food scraps without any smells or flies.

Improve The Base

I need to be able to shovel out mature compost from the bottom. I am using a layer of wire-netting on the base to keep rodents out. This makes shoveling out the compost difficult. So I’m going to try using bricks. Do you know of a good way to build a base to keep out mice and allow for compost extraction?

car tire compost bin

Tyre Drainage
I now cut drainage holes in the car tyre sidewall to drain water. I want a nice smelling compost heap. This means no standing water. Cut slits in the sidewall so water drains out when the tyre is stacked on it’s side.

How I add air
The tyres allow some air pockets in the heap. I have found it necessary for me to add dry leaves and garden twigs to keep the compost aerated and ensure it is an aerobic compost heap.

I cut holes for draining water
Yesterday I realized my error in not cutting holes in the tyres to allow water to drain from them. As I emptied our kitchen scraps I saw water filled in the tyre sides had gone stagnant. This looked as if it could be unhealthy. So I sliced holes in the side wall of each tyre to allow for drainage.The drainage slots need to be large enough to allow water to drain without mice coming in.

It must be Rainproof
The lid needs to be heavy so it does not blow away in the wind gusts. It needs to shelter the bin from rain. Can you invent a better lid? Add your comments below.

Easy to extract compost
We need ideas for a design of a base that allows easy access to the compost. Mature compost needs to be removed for the garden. I use a coal shovel or trowel and not much is removed at one time. Just a bucket or two of mature compost.

Lid improvement
We need a lid made of recycled materials. It must be easy to create and look nice in people’s gardens.

Needs to be rodent-proof and keep out the rats and mice.

Rain water should run off it.

Can you try out various lids on your car tyre compost bin and tell us what works best?

How do do it
Get your tyres. Check they have no sharp wires poking out. Get nice tyres, all the same size. Or place big tyres on the lower levels. Add scraps. Put on lid. Take photos. Send us your photos.

Photo Credits

1. Photo of car tyres with plants growing out and around by mystuart on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/melystu/5997486629

2. Earthworms photo – Provided by Susana Secretatiat on Flickr, www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/8261572027/