The Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter

The Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter

I’m such a fan of home composting; I want to encourage everyone to set up a compost bin!

Last year, the designers of Aerobin sent me one of their Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composters to try out.  Over the past year, I’ve put the Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter to the test.  I decided to trial this product because it’s designed to be placed on a paved or concrete area, and this together with the product’s compact size makes it perfect for small patio gardens.  After using this product for a year I have been really impressed with the Aerobin and I’m delighted to recommend this product.

Why Compost?

Making a compost heap or setting up a compost bin is such a great thing to do.  I want to encourage everyone to start composting!  Many people with small gardens feel that they don’t have room for a compost heap, but I disagree.  Every garden should be making compost!  If you don’t have the time or energy to make your own composter, why not buy a composter that’s especially designed for small spaces?  In December 2020, Aerobin sent me their Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter to trial.

The Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter Features

The Aerobin has a number of enticing features some of which are unique to this product and have been patented, including:

  • The Aerobin has a static ‘aeration core’ or ‘lung’ that allows passive ventilation throughout the whole compost bin
  • Easy to use: no turning or manual intervention is necessary
  • Aerobic composting of both kitchen and garden waste
  • Moisture recirculation system
  • Leachate reservoir: provides free liquid fertiliser
  • High operating temperatures will kill annual weeds and pathogens
  • Fast acting: the Aerobin produces homemade compost in three to six months, depending on how much material is added
  • Two access doors allow easy access to the compost
  • Designed to be used on a level paved or concrete/tarmac surface
  • Easy to assemble
  • Insulated walls and lid: for year round composting
  • 200 litre capacity

Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter Size

The Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter measures 51cm x 51cm x 117.5cm (20inch x 20inch x 46inch).

Please note, I have the Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter; two larger models, the Aerobin 400 Litre and Aerobin 600 Litre, are also available.

Where to Position the Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter?

The Aerobin is a home composter that’s designed to be positioned on a solid surface, without being in contact with the soil – a patio or area of hardstanding is ideal.  Don’t set up your Aerobin on the soil or on a grassed area.

My Aerobin is set up on a path made from standard paving slabs, in a shaded position, in my garden.  When positioning your Aerobin, look for a permanent position, as you won’t be able to easily move your composter once it has been filled.

Setting up the Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter

It look my husband less than ten minutes to assemble our Aerobin composter singlehandedly.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Here’s my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter in its box.
Here are all the components of my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter ready to be assembled.
The base of the Aerobin has a recessed sump in which the liquid from the compost will collect. This can then be siphoned off via a hose to create a strong organic feed/fertiliser.
This picture shows the Aerobin base with the covers in place over the sump.
The next stage of assembling the Aerobin is to slot the top sections of the walls into place. The instructions recommend having a second pair of hands to hold them until the last panels are fitted, but my husband managed to do this by himself with some careful balancing!
The Aerobin during assembly. You can see the central ventilation ‘lung’ pipe, which has two ‘cones’ that allow air into the centre of the compost, without compost falling into the tube.
The next stage of assembling the Aerobin is to slot the top sections of the walls into place. The instructions recommend having a second pair of hands to hold them until the last panels are fitted, but my husband managed to do this by himself with some careful balancing!
A slightly different angle, showing the top panels being fitted during assembly of the Aerobin.
The lid fitted, and ready for the access doors to be slotted into place.
The access doors are easy to fit – they just slot upwards into place, and then click down to lock securely so they don’t open unexpectedly.
My Aerobin 200 fully assembled.

Using my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter for the First Time

I started using my Aerobin on Saturday 29th December 2020.  When you start using an Aerobin, before you add your kitchen waste and grass cuttings, etc. to your Aerobin, it’s important to first add a dry layer.  I added a layer of fallen leaves to my Aerobin to form a dry layer at the base.  Next, a few scoops of compost from my home-made compost bin was added; the microbes in this compost will help to break down any materials I add to my Aerobin.

When my Aerobin arrived I wasn’t set up and ready with buckets of vegetable peelings, prunings, etc., to add to our new compost bin.  We’ve just been adding tea bags, vegetable peelings, prunings, as we produce and acquire them.  I don’t have a lawn, so we’ve not tried adding grass cuttings to our Aerobin.

What Materials Can You Add to the Aerobin Home Composter?

The Aerobin Home Composter will turn the following materials into compost.  Wherever possible try to add alternate layers of brown and green materials.  Green compostable materials tend to be wetter and softer, and include:

  • Vegetable and fruit peelings
  • Used tea bags and tea leaves
  • Used coffee grounds
  • Grass cuttings
  • Annual weeds
  • faded bedding plants, annuals, vegetable, and fruit plants, etc.
  • faded cut flowers
  • prunings from plants (or remnants of plants) with soft green plant material
  • Chopped up onions
  • Chopped up citrus
  • Egg shells
  • The contents of our vacuum cleaner
  • Duckweed or leaves from ponds
  • Spent compost

Brown compostable materials tend to be drier and woodier, and include:

  • Small twigs or prunings
  • Dried grasses
  • Roots that have been chopped up
  • Branches that have been shredded
  • Straw
  • Dried plant material
  • Egg boxes
  • Scrunched up newspaper that has been scrunched up into balls
  • Office paper that has been scrunched up into balls
  • Cardboard torn and scrunched up
  • Autumn leaves

Please Don’t Add the Following Materials to Your Aerobin Home Composter

  • Invasive plants
  • Perennial weeds
  • Meat
  • Oil
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Pieces of wood
  • Thick branches
  • Glossy magazines
  • Ash
  • Faeces from meat eating animals

Do You Need to Turn the Compost Inside the Aerobin Home Composter?

No, there’s absolutely no need whatsoever to turn the compost inside the Aerobin Home Composter.

How quickly Does the Aerobin Home Composter Work?

Over the past year, we’ve added all our vegetable peelings, tea bags, prunings, egg boxes, and other composting materials to our Aerobin Home Composter.  We’ve filled our Aerobin up to the top and then observed in the following days, weeks, and months, as the materials inside our Aerobin broke down and turned into compost, thereby opening up space for more kitchen waste and prunings to be added to the Aerobin.

A look inside my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter. Pictured on the 9th April 2021.
My Aerobin 200 Litre home Composter is pictured on the 16th August 2021, after being filled up with Wisteria prunings, carrot foliage, runner bean and other vegetable trimmings and kitchen waste.
A look inside my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter, as pictured on the 12th September 2021.
A look inside my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter on the 20th November 2021.
A look inside my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter, as pictured on the 20th November 2021.

Do You Need to Add Worms to the Aerobin Home Composter?

The Aerobin Home Composter is designed to work without worms.  Please don’t add any earthworms to your compost bin.  In our gardens we have different types of worms that live in contrasting conditions.  Not all worms are happiest in a composter, we often see worms in the soil, but some worm species live in log piles, and other worms live under containers.  I haven’t added any worms to my Aerobin, these worms have all found their own way to my Aerobin.

Does the Aerobin Produce Compost More Quickly than a Traditional Compost Heap?

Yes!  My Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter definitely produces compost much more rapidly than my homemade compost bin in my garden that has been going for many years.

Fungi in my Aerobin Home Composter

Fungi inside my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter. Pictured on the 16th June 2021.

The composting process requires air, moisture, warmth, organic matter, and micro-organisms (fungi, bacteria and very small animals, which digest organic matter).  The fungi you can see in my pictures are a natural part of the decomposition process.  There’s no need to take any action if you find fungi in your Aerobin Home Composter.

Fungi inside my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter. Pictured on the 16th June 2021.

Removing Liquid Fertiliser from my Aerobin Home Composter

The Aerobin 200 has a tap in one corner of the base which can be used to siphon off liquid as it drains down to the sump in the base. This liquid can then be used to make a concentrated fertiliser that can be diluted when required.

Today we siphoned out some of the liquid fertiliser from our Aerobin.  This was quick and easy to do (although you do need to get down on the floor), as we have a section of hose attached to the outlet to make it easier to drain the liquid feed into a bottle.

I’ve attached a small section of garden hose to the outlet for liquid fertiliser on my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter. Pictured on the 20th November 2021.

I couldn’t detect any odour at all as the liquid feed was siphoned out, it was only when I put my nose up to the bottle that I could smell the contents, when I quickly put the lid on!  I will be using the compost and fertiliser from my Aerobin in my next Compost Trial.

Liquid fertiliser from my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter, pictured on the 20th November 2021.

The Aerobin provides a fast and efficient method of making compost and fertiliser at home.  If you stick to using homemade compost you can be certain of the ingredients that have gone into your compost and your garden or allotment soil.  Homemade compost and fertiliser from the Aerobin would be especially beneficial to vegans who want to use compost and fertilisers that are free from animal products.

Has my Aerobin Produced Unpleasant Odours?

No, the compost in my Aerobin has not produced any unpleasant odours.  There has been no detectable odour from my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter.

Have I Had Any Problems With My Aerobin Home Composter?

I’ve been really impressed with my Aerobin.  The only problem I’ve had is a minor niggle.  The Aerobin has access panels at the bottom, which slide up and out so they can be removed to get access to the compost at the bottom of the bin.  This is a great idea.  However, one problem I found was that whilst the sliding/locking motion of these panels works really well when the bin is empty, once it’s full it can be tricky to slide the panels back down to lock them in place.  I’m certain that if I had removed some compost it wouldn’t have been difficult to slide the panel back in place.

A couple of days after checking the progress of my compost inside my Aerobin, the panel dropped down and some of the debris and half-processed compost material fell out of my Aerobin.  This occurred partly because there’s no decent handhold to apply downward pressure, and partly because the debris/compost in the bottom of the bin pushes outwards and also clogs up the slot into which the panels lock.  This could be rectified by having larger and more robust handles on the panels.  However, if you remove the panel and then take out the compost, it is very easy to fix the panel in place.

For more than 20 tips on home composting, please click here.

If you’d like to purchase your own Aerobin, here’s a link.

Aerobin Home Composter Update May 2022

21st May 2022: I have a small garden, so I often have to move things around to fit in new trials.  This morning, my husband dismantled our Aerobin Home Composter so we could move the Aerobin to another area of our garden.  On dismantling the Aerobin, we found there was fantastic compost inside – our Aerobin was about three quarters full of terrific compost!  However, when assembling the Aerobin in its new destination we found that part of the corner of the Aerobin was damaged – we had a hole!  This missing piece meant that the Aerobin would not slot back together properly and it kept falling apart.   This problem combined with the fact that over time the door/panel at the bottom of the Aerobin became more difficult to replace after removing compost meant that my husband had enough of the Aerobin and we gave the product away on our local giveaway group.

Here’s my dismantled Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter. I don’t know what caused this damage to the corner of one of the sides of my Aerobin, but unfortunately this composter will not hold together now. It has been reassembled three times and even filled with more compost to try to make it more sturdy but each time it has failed and come apart. We have sadly given up on the Aerobin. Pictured on the 21st May 2022.

I have no idea when the corner damage happened to our Aerobin or how it occurred.  Certainly there wasn’t any incident we know of that caused this issue.  The corner damage was out of view for us, being shielded by the wall at the back and side where our Aerobin was previously situated – so the damage could have been there for sometime and we would have been unaware.  I wonder if it was a rat that chewed through the plastic?

Here’s is a closer look at the damage on the corner of one of the pieces of my Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter. I don’t know what caused this damage I wonder if it was a rat? Pictured on the 21st May 2022.

The Aerobin Home Composter works very effectively at making compost.  I was really impressed at how quickly our Aerobin turned our vegetable peelings and garden waste into lovely compost, but sadly this product is not as robust or long-lasting as I was expecting.

Aerobin Home Composter Update: 26th August 2022

After reading my article, Aerobin contacted me to say that Aerobin products have three years warranty.  Aerobin have posted out a replacement panel to the person in my local giveaway group who received my Aerobin Home Composter.

Aerobin said:

Regards to the rodent issue, Aerobin is rodent resistant rather than rodent prove as we know they are strong, persistent and destructive creatures. If they are neglected, they can gnaw through everything.

Our product has 3 years warranty from date of purchase and we can replace the parts for those damages and following measures you can use to prevent from rodent attack to your Aerobin as well as defending it if you notice some damages have been done.

✅Preventative measures: Locate the Aerobin in an area where there is as much people traffic as possible – Rats/Mice do not like being disturbed – so the more sheltered the location the more aggressive rodents can/will be.

✅Preventative measures: Try not to position the Aerobin close to a fence line – it provides a sheltered cavity between the fence and the Aerobin.

✅Defensive measures: Wrap Chicken Wire Mesh under & around the Base of the Aerobin – and if necessary up the side walls of the Aerobin – cut thru the mesh where the Access Doors are located and then bend the mesh along the line of the bottom edge of the Access Door and it will then fold (open & close) like a live hinge so that you can access the Aerobin to harvest compost. This makes it difficult for Rats to gnaw thru the vertical walls or the Base. Use Clothes Pegs to retain the Chicken Wire together at the vertical line of the Access Doors – effectively to keep the wire in place.

✅Defensive measures: An alternative to the Chicken Wire would be to install your Aerobin on a raised platform – please refer to the photo https://www.instagram.com/p/CPrd9yDnTnQ/
The platform is only 5mm each side larger than the Base of the 400 Ltr Aerobin & the cavity of the platform frame is back filled with stones – making it impossible for rodents to gain access, by burrowing under the platform. The minimal edge of the platform effectively eliminates giving rodents a stance to work away at gnawing their way thru the plastic. The other benefits in raising the Aerobin are – (1) it makes harvesting compost into a container easier & (2) it makes collecting the leachate easier as well.

Here are more photos and videos as a reference point to show consumers how Aerobin can be used in an efficient way to achieve a rewarding composting result.  Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/190659191@N04/page1

Other articles that may interest you…………….

To see all of my Compost Trials, please click here.

For articles about edible gardening, please click here.

For tips on planting trees, please click here.

To see my plant pages and find advice on growing vegetables, fruit, and herbs, trees, shrubs, climbers, bulbs, perennials, annuals, houseplants, orchids, and terrarium plants, please click here.

For articles about wildlife gardening, please click here.

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One thought on “The Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter

  1. Susan

    June 27, 2022 at 1:34am

    My 400 litre aerobin made great compost initially. But from almost day 1 I was unable to open one of the side doors and within a year I could no longer open the other side door to collect compost. Then one of the top side joins in the panels split so I could no longer replace the lid. Then I started to notice tiny foam balls at the base. Clearly rats had chewed their way in. Oddly enough chickens love to eat foam so I have to be vigilant in picking up all the foam everyday. I paid a lot of money for the aerobin because I did not want vermin in my compost. Utter fail and I would never recommend the aerobin to anyone.

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      June 29, 2022 at 9:35am

      Hello Susan

      I am sorry to hear about the problems you experienced with your compost bin. Was it an Aerobin or a Hotbin you had? I’ve now given away my Aerobin, but I never noticed any foam balls being discharged from my Aerobin. However, this was a concern I had when looking at the Hotbin – as they are made from expanded polyproplene. I haven’t tried a Hotbin so I cannot comment on how successful they are and whether the foam balls are shed.

      I hope you can continue composting with a homemade compost bin or compost heap.

      Best wishes
      Beth

    • Vincent

      August 24, 2022 at 1:38am

      Hi Susan,

      Sorry to hear your Aerobin experience. I can see there are three issues occurred and I will address them one by one and our email address is info@aerobin400.com for you to send us some photos.

      1. Opening the access doors

      Aerobin’s access doors inside is designed not to be a flush surface but with some internal ledges aim to secure the doors in a clocked position while holding compost material for a long period of time.

      Some Aerobin users might find difficult to open access doors 1st time after composting organic materials for several months. What happens as the compost formed in the Aerobin it will in time bear down on the internal ledges of the Access Doors and of course as the compost level rises so does the weight of material (compost) bearing down on the 2 ledges. Every time you lift the Access Doors up (as the first motion in the opening of the Access Doors) you will raise the compost – and given the composts texture and dampness, the compost will take a set and remain in the raised position – it won’t simply collapse back down onto the Access Door internal ledge. This will be evident to you, as the lifting force required will become almost the same as if the Aerobin was empty.

      If the doors get stuck, get a small hand Shovel of Spade – insert the blade of between the underside of the Access Doors (towards the bottom corner of the Access Door) and the top of the Base – lever down on handle of the Shovel repeat this until the Access Door rises, and then with one hand on the Shovel/Spade Handle (keeping the pressure on the Handle so that the Access Door remains raised), grab the Handle of the Access Door and pull the Access Door away from the Aerobin.

      To close the access doors, put them in their position and lift up 1st so the internal ledges of the Access Doors have sufficient space to go in and then drag the doors downward to lock them in the closed position.

      You can also check Youtube channel (aerobincomposter) installation videos to see what motion required to effectively close and open the access doors. https://www.youtube.com/user/aerobincomposter

      Here are some photos also shows what we just explained above. https://www.instagram.com/p/CVO9PR4vXvY/

      2. Panel splits

      Aerobin provides 3 years warranty and if you can send us some photos about the damaged panels and we are happy to connect you with our UK distributor to send you the replacement parts so you can get your in back into operation.

      3. Rodent damage

      Regards to the rodent issue, Aerobin is rodent resist rather than rodent prove as we know they are strong, persistent and destructive creatures. If they are neglected, they can chew through everything.

      Our product has 3 years warranty from date of purchase and we can replace the parts for those damages and following measures you can use to prevent from rodent attack to your Aerobin as well as defending it if you notice some damages have been done.

      ✅Preventative measures: Locate the Aerobin in an area where there is as much people traffic as possible – Rats/Mice do not like being disturbed – so the more sheltered the location the more aggressive rodents can/will be.

      ✅Preventative measures: Try not to position the Aerobin close to a fence line – it provides a sheltered cavity between the fence and the Aerobin.

      ✅Defensive measures: Wrap Chicken Wire Mesh under & around the Base of the Aerobin – and if necessary up the side walls of the Aerobin – cut thru the mesh where the Access Doors are located and then bend the mesh along the line of the bottom edge of the Access Door and it will then fold (open & close) like a live hinge so that you can access the Aerobin to harvest compost. This makes it difficult for Rats to gnaw thru the vertical walls or the Base. Use Clothes Pegs to retain the Chicken Wire together at the vertical line of the Access Doors – effectively to keep the wire in place.

      ✅Defensive measures: An alternative to the Chicken Wire would be to install your Aerobin on a raised platform – please refer to the photo https://www.instagram.com/p/CPrd9yDnTnQ/. The platform is only 5mm each side larger than the Base of the 400 Ltr Aerobin & the cavity of the platform frame is back filled with stones – making it impossible for rodents to gain access, by burrowing under the platform. The minimal edge of the platform effectively eliminates giving rodents a stance to work away at gnawing their way thru the plastic. The other benefits in raising the Aerobin are – (1) it makes harvesting compost into a container easier & (2) it makes collecting the leachate easier as well.

      We hope our response to help you to get your Aerobin back to operational soon. Once again feel free to contact us if you have any issues and we are happy to help you to resolve them.

      Here are more photos and videos as a reference point to show consumers how Aerobin can be used in an efficient way to achieve a rewarding composting result.

      Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/190659191@N04/page1

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