Smelly composting tumbler question

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by JDelage, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. JDelage

    JDelage Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2016

    We have a large dual chamber, insulated Jora compost tumber. We got it a few months ago.

    The first chamber is nearly full and is releasing a fairly foul, acrid odor. It doesn't smell like ammonia or rotten eggs or meat. It smells acrid, maybe the closest I can think of would be rotting shellfish, but this is different.

    I rotate the drum several turns at least twice a day, often more. I am now adding pine-based cat litter (100% agglomerated wood dust), as I have noticed some light dripping and I suspect the mix is too wet.

    What do you think? Am I on the right track with wood pellets, egg cardboards, etc? Or does it need something else?

    Many thanks!

  2. JDelage

    JDelage Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2016
    I was trying to think of what that smell reminds me off: it smells like a couple hundred wet wool sweaters and socks put together (or maybe a dozen wet dogs).
  3. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    Sounds like you are right, and it might be too wet. What does it look like?

    What works best for me is to have it damp, like a wrung-out sponge. Not wet, so it drips. The pine should help dry it out. You might also leave it open for a few days if your weather is nice.

    If it were me, I'd dump the whole thing out, mix it up, putting smaller batches back in to cure. Don't keep mixing new scraps in with the old.
    1 person likes this.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    For some reason, my posts are disappearing. You have compost gone anaerobic. Smells like raw sewage, pungent to the nose. I'd avoid adding the pine based cat litter to it, as that will take forever to decompose, and if it's scented, that will be adding chemicals that don't belong in your garden. You can dry it out, and increase the carbon balance (both required to fix the problem) by adding shredded newspaper, shredded dry leaves, old hay, or any other dried brown compostable materials.

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