Compost Conundrum!

Answered by Harrod Horticultural Posted in Category Composting

Dear Martin

I have a quick question about the 340 litre compost tumbler. The Big Pig is an insulated unit to maximise heat retention and composting speed. Is your 340 unit insulated and what pros and cons does it have compared to the more expensive Pig?

Please could you also tell me What the differences are between your 340 litre tumbler and the 220 litre tumbleweed?  


Many thanks for your recent enquiry regarding the advantages of the range of ComposTumblers we supply over similar products including the ‘Big Pig’ and Tumbleweed Composter.   I’d never heard of the ‘Big Pig’ until receiving your e-mail and my subsequent research has shown it to be an interesting product.

Obviously I’m unable to offer a direct comparison between the two but it would appear the Pig is much slower at producing usable compost than the Tumbler as the instructions recommend adding material little and often; the Tumbler is most efficient when loaded in bulk, preferably in one hit. The Tumbler is also capable of producing a rough form of compost in as little as 14 days, given the absolute optimum conditions and correct mix of material.   Although the ‘Big Pig’ is well insulated – the ComposTumblers do not have any extra insulation – I would certainly be very wary of adding cooked meat, bones and fish to any home composting system. These waste products are usually destroyed in huge ‘In-Vessel’ composters which are computer controlled to reach and maintain the high temperatures required to break them down, and I can’t see the ‘Big Pig’ getting anywhere near these accurate temperatures for the correct duration. I would imagine the smell could get rather pungent and to be left with clearing up the mess or working with compost containing partially decomposed meat, fish and bones is something I’d rather not contemplate!     

With regard to the Tumbleweed Composter; the Tumblers are generally easier to turn, are fitted with aeration vents, have a larger capacity and are made from steel sheets (apart from the smallest 140 litre version) which help increase internal temperatures in summer. The Tumblers are also generally quicker at producing compost than the Tumbleweed version but on the other hand, the latter is less expensive, takes up less room and is much easier to assemble.  

As you can see, each of the three products covered have many advantages and it’s really up to you to decide which best fits your circumstances and budget.

I hope this information is of help; many thanks once again for your enquiry and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions or queries you may have.