DIY Trommel Sifts Compost In Style

Composting is a great idea that helps you and the planet at the same time. But all that stuff is going to break down at different rates, and depending on what you put in there and how soon you want to use the compost, you’ll probably have to sift out some unwanted stuff first.

[Minnear Knives] had a bunch of apricot stones in his compost pile, and it was the pits. He did some research and decided to build his own rotary trommel to tumble out the trash. As you will see in the video after the break, it works really well. All he has to do is turn on the motor and shovel raw compost or dirt into one end. Bad stuff tumbles out the other end into a wheelbarrow, while the good stuff is sifted down into a pile under the cylinder. Just look at that rich, fluffy compost.

The best part is that he was able to make it mostly from stuff he had lying around, though he did trade some beer for the v-belt pulley. The cylinder is essentially made from mesh that’s zip-tied to bicycle rims. A 1/4 horsepower motor mounted up top uses that v-belt pulley to spin the cylinder’s rims against casters that are mounted to the frame. Thanks to the pair of bike wheels on the back, he can cart it around the ranch unassisted.

Composting doesn’t have to be any more difficult than a pile in the backyard. But if you don’t have a backyard, why not build a rotating bin that you can monitor from your phone?

22 thoughts on “DIY Trommel Sifts Compost In Style

  1. Works really well! But I’m not a huge fan of open rotating equipment at head height for kids with small fingers and long hair, or dusty rocks in eyes. But nothing some ply wood cant fix.

    1. Egg shells will break into very small pieces and will be eaten by worms and the calcium is absorbed into your plants.

      I’ve never had a problem will peanut shells, they vertainly decompose better than pine needles.

        1. Coffee grounds contain phosphor, nitrogen and potassium – basically what you pay for when you buy fertilizer. Earthworms love it.
          Simply be careful not to fertilize seedlings with it, the coffeein might be too much.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.