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Aerobin 400 Composter Review

Our Rating: Our Rating: 4.3 Stars

If you’re looking at getting into hot composting and finding an efficient way to break down your leaves, grass clippings and kitchen scraps then the Aerobin 400 composter might have come up in your search. But will it get the job done and turn all of your food and garden waste into beautifully rotted, nutrient rich soil for your garden? We’ve put together all the pros and cons, explored its special features and added extras as well as looking at the alternatives and customer reviews. So read on and find out everything you need to know about the Aerobin 400 and how it can be used to benefit your garden.

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The Aerobin 400 is an insulated composter which promises to mix the compostable material itself and collect compost liquid at the bottom of the bin within the double bottom. It is made from plastic and insulated with polystyrene to keep the compost hot and help it break down quickly. It has two doors to remove the compost once it has rotted down and the heavy-duty construction will help keep it in place and stop it from blowing over – even in storms.

Pros

  • Unique patented self aeration lung means you don’t have to turn the compost manually
  • Double wall insulation with polystyrene means it is protected against cold weather
  • Very easy to assemble
  • Sturdy and it doesn’t fall over or blow away due to the heavy-duty construction
  • It creates a lot of heat and keeps the compost warm

Cons

  • The plastic can warp and change shape in very hot weather so it may not be suitable if you live in a very hot climate
  • It does take a long time to break down the compostable materials
  • Some users have found they need to mix the compost manually, especially if it has woody items like twigs inside
  • Hard to turn the spigot to drain away water and the spigot itself can become blocked
  • Very tall design so it is difficult to dig right down to the bottom of it

Double Wall Insulated Design

An insulated composter will help your materials become “hot compost” and break down quicker. As anyone who has left a cup of tea for too long knows, everything will cool or heat to the temperature around it. Put your tea in an oven and it will heat up, leave it outside in sub zero temperatures and it will freeze. With an insulated compost bin, heat is produced when the compostable material breaks down and the insulation keeps that heat inside the bin instead of it escaping. The thick, double wall insulation uses polystyrene to keep this heat and uses it to break down the compost itself.

Good hot composting needs around 40 to 60 degrees heat. So when you’re putting the composter in your garden, think about where it will be. In a cooler climate, try to put it somewhere in direct sunlight so the bin itself will be helped to keep warm.

In a very big compost heap, you’ll find the centre will be warmer than the outside. The compost should be turned regularly to make sure the cold waste on the top and outsides is mixed into the hotter centre. The average household produces about five kilograms of food waste a week. Add to this a bag of grass cuttings in the summer when you’re doing more gardening and you could have around 15kg every week in your bin. To keep your compostables hot, you should make sure you’re adding around 10kg a week.

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Heavy Duty Construction

This bin is designed to be installed in your garden and left there. This is great but it means you must have something which can withstand everything Mother Nature throws at it! The Aerobin is designed with heavy duty plastic covering and is billed as being able to withstand gales, cold temperatures and boiling hot summers.

The last thing any composter wants is to come out after a heavy storm and find half rotted vegetable peelings scattered across the garden as the bin has been knocked over by the wind. Equally, foxes or other garden visitors may knock a less durable bin over and get at the contents so making sure your bin will stay sturdy is very important.

The Aerobin has a lid which means you can completely seal the compost heap – helping to deter pests and keep the heat in.

Two Doors to Remove Compost

These doors also help you gather the soil into a wheelbarrow so you can carry it around the garden to spread on flowerbeds or in pots. The barrow can be put in front of the bin and the compost shovelled out at waist height rather than having to kneel down to the floor or dig down into the bin from the top and lift it down into a bucket or barrow.

The door itself also lifts off completely which makes it easy to get a fork or shovel into the bin itself and harvest your compost.

So once you’ve added in the right amount of compostables, kept it aerated and at a steady warm temperature and even managed to deter pests and battle storms, you’ll be ready to harvest your compost.

With some composters, actually getting at your compost can be difficult. With a bin that only opens from the top, you’re probably not going to get to the really good stuff without a lot of digging as compost tends to produce good soil near the bottom of the bin. That’s where the Aeronbin comes into its own. There are two doors on the front as well as the lid on top. This means you can access your compost from the middle or the bottom of the pile so you can get to the properly rotted, nutrient rich soil easily.

Base with Reservoir to Collect “compost tea”

As well as producing a ready supply of nutrient rich compost, the Aerobin will also collect “compost tea”. This by-product of the composting process is known as “liquid gold” as it is very high in nutrients and vitamins for your garden soil. It is made when the compostable materials break down into soil and the wetter elements are drained away into the collection reservoir in the bottom of the bin. You may also find your bin produces this tea after you’ve added water or if it rains and the bin gets wet.

Just some of the benefits of this tea include increasing your plants growth, fighting off diseases in your flowerbeds, provides organisms that can help your garden and if you use it in place of chemical fertilizers you can actually make your garden a lot more eco friendly.

The older and better aged your compost, the better your tea so don’t be disheartened if it takes you up to a year to get your first batch. The spigot at the bottom of the Aerobin means you can be ready to harvest this liquid fertilizer with just a few twists of the tap and it can be collected in a bucket or straight into your watering can.

To use your tea, just add it undiluted to the roots of your plants and drench the area to give a vital boost of nutrients. This is particularly helpful if you have a plant which is struggling or has suffered some disease or blight. You can also dilute with water – one part tea to two parts water – and then use the mixture in a watering can or sprayer to give all of the plants in your garden a good boost of nutrients.

Easy to Assemble and Install

Another great benefit of the Aerobin is that it is easy to assemble and install. It comes with a manual but many users report it took them less than 15 minutes to build their bin and get it ready to use. The large parts just slot together and it can be assembled where it will be placed in your garden.

Another thing to consider is perhaps adding a hose to the bottom tap where the compost tea is strained out as it is very close to the floor and some composters reported it was difficult to get a bucket or container underneath the tap to collect the liquid properly. Just make sure you keep the hose free from blockages.

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Customers who have already bought the Aerobin and are using it are leaving largely positive reviews.

People that have had the Aerobin 400 for years say they are getting good compost out of it regularly although they say it does take awhile to break down hedge trimmings and twigs. Compostables like food waste and paper break down easily though and the bin can hold around 1,000 worms quite comfortably without any smell.

Others say they had no problem putting it together and the capacity inside is big enough for all the composting they need.

Alternatives

Exaco 628001 Eco-Master Polypropylene Composter

Quick Info

  • Made from recycled polypropylene
  • One opening in the top for adding and harvesting compost
  • It does not seal
  • No compost tea tap or collection ability
  • Not as sturdy or insulated

Our Rating:3.4 Stars

This compost bin holds 120 gallons and is designed for use outside. It has a lid with wind protection but no insulation or sealable construction. At around $94, it is cheaper than the Aerobin which costs around $200 but it does not have a sealable lid. It is not insulated like the Aerobin so it is unsuitable for “hot composting” and there is no ability to collect compost tea.

Algreen Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin

Quick Info

  • Two sliding doors same as the Aerobin
  • Locking lid which helps to keep out pests
  • Not specifically insulated but made from 100% recycled material which is thick to help keep heat in
  • Produces compost in around six to eight weeks
    · No tap for compost tea drain off

Our Rating:4.3 Stars

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This imposing composter is made from BPA free 100% recycled material which helps you keep your garden eco friendly. It has a large top opening and two sliding side lids to make access to your compost and adding materials easy. Again, it is cheaper than the Aerobin at around $95 but it also has a locking lid that will form a seal on your bin. While the Algreen bin isn’t specifically insulated, it is made from thick material which will help keep your compost warm. The Algreen bin works faster than the Aerobin – promising compost in six to eight weeks – but there is no ability to collect compost tea.

Redmon Green Culture 65 Gallon Compost Bin

Quick Info

  • Four doors to access the compost
  • Lift off lid for easy access
  • No compost tea tap
  • Weather resistant plastic resin construction
  • Can be bought with an aerator included

Our Rating:4.5 Stars

The Redmon Green Culture bin holds 65 gallons of compost and it has a lift off lid so you can add new material quickly and easily. The ventilation holes are spread out throughout the bin so your compost will be fully aerated. At $51 is it a quarter of the price of the $200 Aerobin but it is not insulated or made of a very thick material. Although it doesn’t have the patented “lung” of the Aerobin, this model can be bought with a separate aerator that you can fit yourself if needed. It doesn’t have any ability to collect compost tea but there are several access doors similar to the Aerobin.

Conclusion

So if you’re looking for a great composter to break down your unwanted kitchen scraps and garden waste, then look no further than the Aerobin.

This great little composter keeps your compost hot with a thick, double walled design, it will provide you with a great compost tea which is easily accessible through the tap at the bottom of the unit itself and once your compost has thoroughly rotted down you should be able to easily harvest it and spread it around the garden through the two access doors.

If you’re looking for a new composter or you want to get started with recycling your waste then click here to check out the Aerobin.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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