Everything that I've read suggests that the compost bin is the cornerstone of the successful, productive garden. So I've been puzzling about what to do about a compost heap. Of course, my inner environmentalist wants to send less waste to landfill too. So composting is definitely on the must-do list.
We have a choice then, to buy a bin, just have a heap or make some other kind of construction. Sheffield, in common with many councils, runs a subsidised compost bin purchase scheme via the Recycle Now website. These bins are made of (mostly) recycled plastic and come in a standard round type, which is cheaper, or a square type. There are also some other more expensive bins and wormeries of different types. I'm not a great fan of the plastic round type, as I don't think you get very good access to the compost for turning, etc. The 330 litre bin is only £20 though. The square bin at £40 might be a better option, but is a lesser volume (250 litre).
I think I'd prefer a bin to a heap, just for tidiness sake, although it will all be stuck on the other side of the out-houses anyway. Probably not ideal in terms of sun falling on the heap, but it is nicely tucked out of the way, and any area in full sun I want to be growing on. I've been reading home composting advice, which has some pretty simple plans for building quite modular, square compost bins from scrap wood. It just so happens that I've just filled our cellar with a bunch of old flatpack furniture that had been destined for our mates wood-burner. So in keeping with the allotment DIY ethic I think I'll attempt to screw this lot together and see if I can construct something to do the job.