faq - answers

The Aerobin is a technological breakthrough in home and garden waste management. Here are answers to a selection of frequently-asked questions.

What is it?
Aerobin is the revolutionary new home and garden waste containment system that allows households to effectively recycle organics at home - for the first time – which assists to save the environment.

How does Aerobin help save the environment?
Using an Aerobin helps the average household divert 50% of their waste away from landfill, into compost. Aerobin composts aerobically, a decomposition process doesn’t give off the potent, dangerous, greenhouse gases that occur when organic waste is decomposed anaerobically in landfill. This means by composting in an Aerobin, you are reducing your household carbon emissions. The organic compost and diluted leachate produced by the Aerobin can be used as a natural soil conditioner in the garden. Using compost also helps save water in the same way as putting mulch on your garden.

Where was it designed?
Aerobin was invented and designed in Australia which has wide-ranging climates from very hot in summer to very cold in winter especially in the southern, mountainous areas. But it has been designed to work in all climates, even in winter, by incorporating integrated thermal insulation into its double-skinned walls and lid.

What can I put in it?
Aerobin will take home and garden organic waste. Vegetable peelings, food scarps, soft green garden prunings, lawn clippings, newspaper, leaves and so on. See “What can go in the bin?” on the instruction leaflet accompanying each new Aerobin for more details.

Can I put meat, citrus, onions in it?
Yes. Small quantities of meat are OK, but should be interspersed with plenty of vegetable matter. Please observe the appropriate precautions when handling compost. Citrus and Onions are fine, both will compost faster if roughly chopped before placing into the Aerobin.

How long does the compost take to break down?
Aerobin will create the first compost in about twelve weeks from the time material is first added to the bin; however it is a continuous cycle feeding from the top and taking compost out of the bottom, all year round.

What is leachate?
Leachate is the collected moisture that drains from the compost as it decomposes, and is collected in a leachate tank contained in the base of your Aerobin. Compost is like a sponge, and as its mass reduces, it cannot hold all the moisture it originally held. Leachate can be a rich source of micro-organisms and mineral nutrients for your garden.

What do I do with the leachate?
Leachate can be drained directly onto the garden or watered onto flower beds via a watering can. Leachate however must never be used in a spray as airborne particles could cause respiratory problems. Observe appropriate handling precautions.

How do I get the compost out?
Access panels are provided at the bottom of the bin at both sides. Lift the panel vertically, using the handle, to unlock, then pull the unlocked panel outwards and away from the bin. When replacing the panel, take care to first push it in, then downward firmly. A slight click will be felt as the panel locks, which prevents unwanted entry by pets or vermin.

Can I put animal faeces in it?
In most jurisdictions it is illegal to put carnivore (meat eating animal) faeces in the Aerobin. However, herbivore (grass/plant eating animal manure e.g. horse, cattle, goat, sheep, poultry manure etc) can be included. It must be remembered that all animal faeces may carry pathogens, as may all finished compost, and appropriate precautions should be always be observed when handling. See the instruction leaflet accompanying your new Aerobin for appropriate handling precautions.

How do the worms get in?
Aerobin doesn't actually need worms to operate and will break down organic waste material without them. However worms are good for all composting and the small holes in the bottom of the Aerobin may allow worms to enter.

Will it kill worms?
Worms may die if placed in the top of the bin due to the high temperatures that may occur with aerobic composting, however, worms should survive and thrive at the bottom of the bin and will greatly enhance the composting process. The wonderful thing about the Aerobin is that you do not need to look after the worms or worry about leaving them alone when you go on holidays.

Does the lung turn?
erobin has a static lung that is designed to allow passive ventilation throughout the whole composting mass, so no turning or churning is required.

Does it need to be hooked up to a power source?
Aerobin works on the natural effect of micro-organic aerobic decomposition and does not need anything other the addition of your organic kitchen and garden waste.

How do the micro-organisms get in?
Micro-organisms exist everywhere, all around us, in the air, in the home and garden, so they will already be in the Aerobin, as well as on any organic materials you drop into the Aerobin. You can increase the micro-organic content within your Aerobin by adding a small amount of blood and bone, or manure, but it is not essential to do so.

Do I need to keep it in the sun?
It’s not necessary. In fact, to prolong the life of the plastic materials, your Aerobin should be placed in shade or partial shade. The heat inside the Aerobin comes from the micro organisms breaking down the organics, not from the sun. The integral insulation keeps that heat inside – even in cool climates.

Why do other compost bin makers say their bin must go in the sun? Probably because their bin does not work well enough for the micro-organic activity to generate optimal composting temperatures. With an Aerobin, there’s no need to worry, because micro-organisms will thrive when they get plenty of air, and that’s one of the core principles behind the Aerobin design.

Apart from airflow, what else is important for successful composting?
Four key factors: Airflow, temperature, moisture, and the organic material added to the bin. Aerobin looks after three of the four factors itself. The fourth factor, adding organic waste regularly, is up to you.

How does Aerobin look after those key factors?
Because of the patented aeration core, Aerobin consistently maintains temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Celsius when composting freshly-added materials. Because Aerobin recycles moisture and does not let it escape, moisture levels are better maintained, promoting faster composting. University tests have shown Aerobin maintains moisture content between 50-60% RH. Levels below 30% constitute an OH & S risk, due to the possibility of fungal spores and micro-organisms becoming airborne.

How does it kill most weeds and seeds?
Aerobin uses a natural process of aerobic decomposition using aerobic micro-organisms which naturally produce temperatures of up to 70 degrees, provided enough organic waste, oxygen and moisture is present within the system.

It really breaks down newspaper?
Aerobin will breakdown all organic waste which includes newspaper and cardboard, Newspapers and cardboard should be either screwed up or preferably shredded. If adding a lot of newspaper at one time without any moist vegetable or plant matter, some water may be sprinkled on top of the newspaper, just enough to dampen it thoroughly.

Where can I get one?
Aerobin can be ordered on line at www.aerobin.com.au, (click the "BUY" button), or by calling the call centre hotline number 1800 615 445 (Free call from within Australia).

Do I need to situate it on bricks?
Aerobin can be located on any flat surface, if it is located on a brick base, make sure whole of the base of the Aerobin is supported, not just around the perimeter. A full Aerobin may weigh up to 400kg!

What other sizes are available?
Aerobin comes in the one convenient size which is designed for an average household with a garden. It is large enough to accept the output of a busy gardening session, but small enough to locate conveniently in your garden.

How long will it take me to fill it?
Aerobin will take up to 400 kg of organic waste at one time, but the process is continuous, and studies show the Aerobin should be able to cope with up to 3.2 tonnes of organic waste a year, far more than the average household will produce.

How come they are so cheap?
Aerobin is been provided direct to the public to provide the lowest possible price as we believe everyone can play a part in saving the environment.

Can I take it apart to relocate it?
Aerobin is designed to be child proof and locks together so children and pets cannot take it apart, possibly spilling the compost. Therefore, the initial location should be carefully selected. However, when emptied, the bin weighs only 26 kg and should be quite easy to relocate.

Where can I pick one up?
We are providing a convenient delivery service direct to the customer’s address at this stage. Our future logistic plans may include the ability to pick up an Aerobin from a central location.

Does the driver assemble it for me?
Aerobin is designed to be assembled easily by customers, however if you do find it too difficult then a service call can be arranged at a cost. Remember to read the instructions before starting to assemble. Assembly should take about five minutes.

How long is the unit guaranteed?
Aerobin is guaranteed for 3 years against manufacturing or material defects.

Is it guaranteed to make good compost?
Aerobin has been tested against leading composters around the world and worked the best, including creating great compost measured to Rottegrad 4 standard (one step down from the top level) after just 13 weeks. The test indicated Rottegrad 5 standard would be achieved given a little more time.

How long will it last?
Aerobin is made of UV stabilised plastic, and like similar products like wheelie bins and milk crates made from the same sort of material, the Aerobin will last for years and years, but actual life will depend on a number of factors including where it is situated.

Can I put dairy products in it?
Aerobin works on the aerobic process in which odour is minimised, unlike the anaerobic process that occurs in landfill, when material becomes slimy and smelly. However, even with an aerobic process dairy products can give off an unpleasant odour when decomposing, and should only be used where the smell will not offend anyone. It’s better to avoid them to avoid the problem.

Can I put magazines in it?
Unfortunately due to the inks and paper used, magazines are not recommended unless specifically marked as biodegradable.

Can I keep it inside?
Aerobin uses an aerobic process which means plenty of airflow is required, and if kept indoors a composting odour may be evident, so it should be kept outdoors.

Does it take lawn clippings?
Aerobin is ideal for composting lawn clippings, as well as all green garden and kitchen waste. Blood and bone should be added to provide further nutrients, and shredded newspaper to balance the moisture content, if lawn clippings are the only form of waste available for composting.

Can I put ashes from the fireplace or barbecue in it?
Yes, provided the ashes are cold. Hot ash will damage the plastic and void the guarantee. Too much ash will slow down the composting process too, so add ash sparingly and interspersed with vegetable matter.

What if I break a piece of it accidentally - can I get spares?
Aerobin is exceptionally resilient and should not break unless mistreated, however, in the unfortunate event of a part being broken, replacement parts can be provided at a charge. Just call the aerobin hotline on 1800 615 445 for assistance.

If I buy two how much is the price?
Twice the price of one unit.

How many do I have to buy to get a discount?
The price of the Aerobin has deliberately been made very competitive to ensure most households have an opportunity to buy one and to take the first step towards a more sustainable way of living. The list price applies for all consumer quantities, however, special pricing applies for quantities in excess of one thousand units for local government organisations. For more details on volume pricing, please enquire via the Aerobin hotline 1 800 615 445.

How much leachate can the tank hold?
Aerobin has a 15 litre leachate tank underneath as part of the integral design of the bin.

How long will it take to fill the tank with that much leachate?
It depends on the moisture level of the materials you put into the bin. You might expect with average moisture content and a balanced mix of wet and dry materials, the leachate tank could take two or three months to become full. It will fill faster if you add more kitchen waste which contains more moisture than, say, newspaper or leaves from the garden.

How do you get the leachate out?
Leachate contains micro-organisms and should be used carefully and in compliance with the safety guidelines. Refer to the instruction leaflet accompanying the product for information on safe handling of leachate. To access the leachate, connect a piece of ½-inch garden hose to the outlet situated at one corner of the base of the Aerobin, and lead the other end away downhill into a low, flat dish, or watering can. Rotate the external outlet housing until the leachate flows. Rotate back to stop the flow.

Does the leachate tank get sludge in it?
Some sludge may build up over time, the residue of small particles of organic material. The leachate tank can be flushed once or twice a year by attaching a hose to the outlet and letting the water flow for a few minutes.

Do I need two bins?
Aerobin has been designed to accommodate the organic kitchen and garden waste from an average household with a garden. More bins may be required for larger size families, strata titles and larger size gardens or properties.

Where can I get any further questions answered?
Anyone with a question may also call the Aerobin hotline on 1 800 615 445, 09:00 – 17:00 AEST, Monday - Friday except public holidays. Customers with a question may call the hotline, or e-mail info@aerobin.com.au with their enquiry.

How long will it take to get any further questions answered?
GEM strives to answer all e-mail enquiries within a business day.