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3-bin Composter Design Proposal

Composting bins for Miller Farm. Fall 2008 Toby Carter

I am proposing to build a 3-bin composting structure at Miller Farm because I think that it is a project that will improve how Miller Farm handles the campus’ organic waste while increasing the accessibility of agricultural education to the larger Earlham community. I have several main reasons why I think this project is worth supporting. Firstly, for my own education, I am interested in learning how to build and manage a composting system as part of my independent study on sustainable agriculture. Secondly I think that Miller Farm has huge educational potential for all sorts of people with an interest in the environment, yet it is under-utilized by most of the campus. I see the main reason for this as being that the farm is entirely student-run. A fact of the culture of Miller Farm is that the level of interest and investment in agriculture fluctuates over the years and it that it relies on the word of mouth passage of knowledge. This has limited the ability to have any on-going base of knowledge or vision for its improvement which has lead to various projects such as composting having to be re-invented every few years. It has also limited how accessible learning about agriculture is to the Earlham community because there are few established systems that are easily taught and maintained over time. The third reason why I am proposing this project is because it will increase the farm’s ability to compost organic waste from the rest of campus. A 3-bin system would allow the composting program to expand and process useable waste more efficiently because it cycles waste through a schedule that produces more finished fertile soil quicker than the current system.

Proposed Budget

I am asking for support for this project in helping to purchase lumber for the bins. According to the design that I have drawn up, this project will require most of the follow dimensions of wood. This is the maximum wood that would be required because I will also be re-using lumber that is on Miller Farm.

26 1x6-10’ Treated 4.28ea. 111.28tot.

14 1x6-16’ Treated 9.44ea. 132.16tot.

6 2x4-10’ Treated 2.89ea. 17.34tot.

1 2x6-14 Treated 7.49ea. 7.49tot.

1 2x6-16’ Treated 7.49ea. 7.49tot.

16d, 8d galvanized nails ~10tot

Subtotal = 285 + tax

Maximum Total= ~$300 -re-used lumber.

                            3-bin composter design

Dimensions: structure 16x5x5, each bin: 5 1/3ft wide, 5ft deep, 4 1/2ft tall

Lumber- Modified cut list


Center joist. 1 (2x6x16)

Front/back joist. 2 (1x6x16)

Headers. 2 (1x6x5)

Cross blocks. 3 (2x6x5)

Base partitions. 2 (1x6x5)

Footers (2x6x14) as fit


Side walls. 2x6 (1x6x5)

Back wall. 6 (1x6x16)

Front slats. 3x6 (1x6x5)

Partitions. 2x6 (1x6x5)

Vertical support

Corner posts. 8 (2x4x5)

Front posts. 2 (2x8x5)

Front slat holders. 6 (1x1x5)

Side Front slat holders. 4 (2x4x5)

Side back slat holders 4 (2x4x5)

Personal tools
this semester