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Urban Composter

Urban Composter

3.3 from 15 reviews

Dissapointed

This is not cheap and I was expecting a product that was well made.
I purchased a whole kit with one large and one small composting bin -- both leak at the tap, even after I used some plumbers tape so must be leaking from within the tap itself -- Also on the large bin the tap when fully screwed on sits at 9 oclock (to the left) position instead of 6 o clock(facing down) position! the large one the lid doesn't seal due to a warping in the lid so you get the smells wafting out. Also the spray bottle with compost accelerator and a refill bottle of compost accelerator. The spray bottle trigger also leaks when spraying.
I would not spend the high dollars on this and look for something cheaper, like a bucket with a lid and you can buy compost accelerator from Nurseries or hardware outlets.
Seems I am not the only one with complaints about the leaking taps.

Date PurchasedSep 2018

Yet to use

I was just reading the comments people were putting, where some had said there was mould, HELLO, mould is good if you went to a class as I did and learnt about it then you would know, also I saw someone else wanted the juice for the garden No not a good idea you don't use the juice as the fertiliser another one who doesn't have a clue, so glad I went to the 2 hour free council talk on this product and can't wait to use it :)

Date PurchasedSep 2018

One step closer to zero waste!

I have used my bokashi bucket in an urban apartment environment for approximately a year now after purchasing it through the Port Phillip Council Initiative where they paid a portion of the price. I ended up forking out around $50 for the bucket, masher, compost activator and postage. Two people live in the apartment and we take approximately 1 month to fill it up. We cook separately approximately 3-4 times a week, eating mainly vegetarian.

We put almost everything in the bucket- tea leaves, coffee grounds, all veg and fruit scraps, mouldy food in the bottom of the veg crisper - everything! A small amount of meat may go in (not much at all) and a tiny bit of cheese.

Basically I just pop in whatever, give it a quick mush down with the masher and spray 3-4 times with the compost activator. I empty the juice 1-3 times a week which is a bit stinky, but I am used to it now so it doesn’t bother me at all.

Once it’s full we take it to the local community garden and empty it in the compost bin. This bit is the really REALLY stinky bit, which you do get used to, but at first my stomach turned a bit. We then rinse it under the tap, take it home, give it a good scrub to get rid of any residue and then leave it on the balcony in the sun for a day or two to reduce any lingering stink. (Compost goes into a bowl in the fridge whilst it is airing).

I have had no issues with a leaking tap which is quite lucky. The only part which could be annoying would be if we didn’t live near a community garden, but if you don’t you can always connect with someone on www.sharewaste.com.au to find people in your area who would like to take your scraps.

This bin has been amazing for reducing our waste. We compost food scraps, recycle as per council requirements and collect soft plastics to drop at the supermarket. I reckon we get a single shopping bag of rubbish a month, if that.

All in all a great product for people who would like to reduce their waste (providing you get one with a decent tap)!

Date PurchasedSep 2017

Easy to fill up. And difficult if you don’t have a big garden

Originally we had the seals around the taps on incorrectly. This caused the tap to leak constantly. Taking it apart and paying more attention to the size of the seals stopped this leak forever.

We must have a lot of food wastage as this gets full very often. We don’t have the option to dig up the garden in our current rental. But the liquid we get is great for the garden. especially at the end of an Australian summer and the garden is dry and tired.

Unfortunately this means we throw it away once full.

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Leak and mold

We got this bin because of the discount from council, however, it’s a huge disappointment. As many users here, we also experiement leaking from the joint of the tap. On top of that, the bad quality and design of the cover cause moldy as it’s almost impossible to close the bin tightly. Complaint to the council, they advice us to tighten the tap but Im not sure how much more I can tighten it. No one likes to deal with a leaking problem of bokashi bin in their kitchen, It’s disgusting!

We have a The Bokashi Bin, it never give us any unnecessary problem. So much regrets, it properly end up to be an expensive rubbish bin!

Date PurchasedJun 2018

Tap fitting has a constant annoying drip.

The product has a leaky tap fitting. This is certainly a design fault that undermines an otherwise good product. Having to apply plumbers tape to make a proper seal on the tap mechanism is less than satisfactory and this defect does not justify the cost of the product. The plastic from which the tap is made, is much softer than the plastic of the internal nut and can be easily cross threaded. Perhaps if the tap was made from the same plastic as the nut, it may be more functional. There were no unpleasant odors at all which was very pleasing.

Date PurchasedMay 2018

Not as good as hoped

I bought the Urban Composter City (small one, fits under kitchen sink). It was going well for the first few weeks and I was really happy with it, until it started filling up. First, the tap started leaking from the connection point into the bucket, then another leak appeared from the tap itself. I was emptying the juice frequently, a few times a day at least. The smell was absolutely horrible, although may have been worse than typical as there were quite a few banana skins in there as I eat half a banana every morning. The leaks constantly put a gross smelly wet film across the shelf it was sitting on, despite frequently draining and sitting on paper towels, and putting plastic small bag over tap. The plan was to let it sit for a week, empty, clean, then fix at least one leak in the tap as advised on their website with plumbing tape, however I just could not handle the smell and mess. Disappointing result. Perhaps the design needs changing so that each product is absolutely sound. Disappointing as I live in an apartment block without green / organic waste bins.

Date PurchasedFeb 2018

A Very Simple Composter for the Kitchen

We recently bought a Bokashi, a small urban composter for the kitchen. It is simple to set up, we found good instructions for the product on the internet. You can put just about anything in the composter as long it is cut up small, including vegetables, mall meat pieces, coffee and tea bags. Within a few days it will produce a liquid which you drain off via the tap in the bottom of the compost bucket. You then dilute the brown liquid and pour it on your garden as a great fertiliser. When the urban composter is full you put all the mixed in refuse into a hole in your garden and over a few months it will turn into compost. If you have limited space and are interested in a simple process for providing compost for your garden and reduce your waste, this urban composter is worth looking at.

Date PurchasedSep 2017

Great Aussie made product!

Bought this great composter online after watching the war on waste. We searched for composting products and this looked amazing. It arrived promptly and we've used it for 2 months. It's easy to use, once you start doing this it's mind blowing to see how much less full the garbage bin is.
Thinking of getting a second one, as we had to wait a few days for the full bin to ferment.

Date PurchasedMay 2017

Been working great for 2 years!

I've got two of these composters (the smaller city ones) and have been using in my apartment for 2 years. They work great and I've never had to throw out food waste. As one fills I leave it and add to the next. This ends up taking a LOT more scraps, and it breaks down to liquid and compacts in size.
I think people obviously haven't read about what they are supposed to do, they are sealed containers that ferment the scraps with a special mix of microorganisms. This looks like fluffy white mould and is supposed to happen, the more the better. You'll need to find somewhere to bury the fermented scraps when it's full. I've used pot plants a few times, but just go to a friends house now as they have a backyard to bury. Then bring back some finished soil to put on top of my pot plants.
It is a good system that makes quality compost, I'd suggest reading up on Bokashi and other gardeners blogs to get the most out of it first.

Date PurchasedJun 2014

Waste of money- agreed

I agree it is useless as a composer and I use it to transfer waste into my compost bin. Do it daily so it doesn't stink. I used use a ceramic that can be washed in dishwasher and was far better. Don't waste you money on it like I have done.


Not very happy

My Bokashi bin is leaking which makes a mess in my laundry (smelly). The waste in the bin also starts to get mouldy. A lot of trouble for not much return. I should have read the reviews before I bought the bin. I have used it now for 8 weeks and I am ready to ditch it.


Fantastic system that works for our household

Just finished our first batch in the 16L Urban Composter since purchasing in Oct 2014 - approx 3 months of food scraps from our household of 2 who cooks on average 5 days a week. We saved up the food scraps in a container stored in the fridge and added this (with recommended amount of compost accelerator) twice a week to the composter bucket. Push scraps down with a potato masher in between each addition, close the lid, done. Each time new scraps were added, noticed that the volume of the bucket reduced significantly (hence, the long amount of time to fill up!), used approx half a bottle of accelerator over that time, not a big deal for us.

Bucket is outside the kitchen door full time, and we drain the tap every few days (generally when adding scraps) into the drain where it sits above. Once a week, drain into a 1L watering can, top with grey water, and use this on our geraniums which have been flowering beautifully since we started this. Some "vinegar" smell, but as we use this outside only, again, not a big deal.

Once "full" (still about 10cm from the top of the bucket), we left the bucket for approx 2 weeks to mature (still draining every few days) before tipping the contents into a large plastic tub, mixing thoroughly with potting mix, and topping with more potting mix and closing the lid. Checked the tub today (a week after setting up) and the soil level has reduced by a few cms, hoping that this means the fermented scraps are being incorporated into the potting mix base.

During the 3 weeks out of action, we continued to fill the kitchen scraps container, but freezing and defrosting it before adding to the empty bucket to start another batch. One week in, and nothing too different from the same stage of the first batch. Very happy :)

Will continue to use the Urban Composter, and cannot wait to try our amended soil in our new garden bed!


The Urban Composter worked for me

My Urban Composter works really well... I know another reviewer mentioned mould and it's really important that you remove excess moisture from the scraps before you put it in the bin. My tap doesn't leak and I dig the excess into the garden and the remainder is gone in a month or so. The spray keeps the contents smelling fresh and I find that it's cleaner than bokashi (if you've ever spilt it, you'll know what I mean!)
I think it works well on protiens like steak which bokashi doesn't work on


this is a very expensive piece of plastic

The urban composter looks good but it doesn't work. The compost goes mouldy while its still in the bin, despite diligent use of the spray compost accelerator. The tap at the bottom to drain the liquid leaks after only one use, and the liquid that leaks out onto your bench or floor smells and stains.
looks good
doesn't work, the tap leaks, the compost goes mouldy while still in the urbancomposter, even with the use of the accelerator. at around $45 for a small plastic bin, its an expensive bit of plastic. .

3 comments
Dear ‘girl’

 We’ve noticed your comments across a number review sites but unfortunately we haven't heard from you directly either through Quality Products or Urban Composter websites about the issues you’ve mentioned here. I'm posting this message in the hope that you will contact us so that we can resolve the problem for you. 

Firstly, I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the Urban Composter. We’d certainly be happy to help you get the right results with our product.  

 We stand behind all the products we sell and will gladly assist you with any questions or problems you may encounter. 

Perhaps you weren’t sure what to expect with anaerobic composting. The white mould is a clear signal that the composting process is working efficiently and that you have the right environment in the bucket for breaking down the organic material you have placed in there.

 With the tap it’s important to ensure the tap is assembled according to the instructions sent with the bucket, but of course if it’s not right send me a quick email at qualityproducts@aapt.net.au and I will send you a new tap and washer by post immediately. Assuring you of our attentive service. Lynette (Quality Products)Initially I had problems with tap leaking, & opening the lid. Following email I was advised to bind white 'plumbers tape' around tap attachment. Problem solved - it hasn't leaked since! With perseverance, I got the knack of opening the lid. I need to place the unit up on the bench so I can get sufficient pressure under the rim to flick it open. (I'm in my 70's so wrists not as strong as they used to be). I love my urban composter it's in the kitchen, so I don't have to walk down to the bottom of the garden to put scraps in my compost bin. I'm about to order another one as my bin is nearly full and I understand I need to leave it for about 2 weeks before burying contents in my garden & I don't want to be without one for that period of time. We have a composter bin at the kindy where I'm a teacher. The children put their food/fruit scraps in it. When I drained off the liquid to put on our garden I asked a child how it smelled & he replied 'a bit like wine' (fermentation process working). The smell isn't unpleasant - just different. Gets children thinking!I live in an apartment with a small vegie patch down the back of the complex so it's perfect. I had a leaking problem as well but it was because the tap fitting was cracked. I asked for a replacement and it was posted promptly and now problem solved! I have a larger compost bin next to the vegies so when my urban composter bin is full I just add it to the larger one and eventually it all goes in the garden. I use the liquid on the plants that I have on my balcony and they love it.

Questions & Answers

i am having trouble with the spray bottle - doesnt seem to want to spray
2 answers
with out knowing exactly the nature of your spray bottle not sparying I can only say if when you squeeze the trigger and it stops there is a piece of plastic just under the nozzle it should be sitting loosely in the slots of the trigger If when you squeeze the trigger and nothing is coming out unscrew the nozzle and see if there is any liquid in the tube and check it is not blocked -- also check the nozzle spray unit is not blocked by poking a needle into it and make sure the hole is clear -- also check under the lid and see if the rubber seal is pushed in properly and isnt faulty if still no luck I would request another oneI only had a problem of the bottle at the top leaking no problem with it spraying as such.

Is the composter weather proof? We are in a small apartment and would like it outside on a bench. Kath
1 answer
It is heavy duty plastic and does come with an airtight lid as air has to be kept to a minimum inside however from the workshop I attended its best that it is not in the hot sun but more so in a cool dark place, hope this helps :)

Hi, I have been using the Urban composter for ages and find it is brilliant. I bury the composted food scraps into my vegie garden which is now full of earth worms and very healthy. Unfortunately I live near Parramatta river and happen to be on the route for the river rats to get to the sewer system. I have above ground rat bats, done by professionals, which are attended to bi monthly. Up until 4 weeks ago the rats had never come anywhere near my vegie garden but after throwing out some rotten avocadoes have found tunnels dug into the soil each night to eat the vegies. I now fear they have found a new food source and wont leave the garden alone. I use plenty of accelerator but have now stopped burying scraps into garden. What can I do? Heta
3 answers
While I'm certainly not an expert in your particular situation with rodents which sounds quite unique. Instead I would use what apartment dwellers use, which is a large flower pot filled with soil. The rodents are not going to be able to dig their way up through a pot. If you are concerned about them digging in, then try adding a large paver or some bricks to the top of the pot. Once the compost has broken down you should be able to successfully add the soil to your garden. I hope this helps!Hi Heta, I have had the same problem with rats enjoying my bokashi compost when it was dug into the soil and it did seem to attract them to dig up my veggies too. I think the fruity fermented smell attracts them, and even when humans can't smell it, their sensitive noses can. The rats kind of tunnelled in to dig up the compost in the plant beds. (At one point I wasn't using my bin so washed it out and put it outside my back door - the rats ate through the tap! Presumably they could still smell some juice in the tap.) I don't think putting it into a pot is going to work - they may not be able to get in, but they will come because they can smell it and then eat whatever they can find nearby - ie your veggies - which is what happened to me. I tried it first with a large plastic pot half buried in soil, and they chewed through the base to get in, so if you are going to try, use a ceramic pot. The only solution I found was to wait a lot longer for the compost to break down than the instructions say (several months more) - which became impractical because I didn't have somewhere to keep several months of compost or the soil-compost mix, that wasn't attracting the rats. So I buried it very deeply elsewhere in the garden, making sure it was completely covered by a lot of soil - which improves the soil at that spot, but sadly isn't giving your veggies the benefit of the lovely compost. (and I ran out of spots to bury it). Which is a real shame because if it weren't for the rats, it would be a great system, and the compost and liquid are fantastic for the plants and soil. To be honest I ended up giving up on the composting and the veggie garden for a while because I was so discouraged that everything got eaten by the furry visitors. Eventually my landlord arranged for the rats to be baited and things improved. I am starting up again now at my own new house. I don't have rats here but there are a lot of possums - lets see if I am more successful here. And another note - after the tap eating incident I had to replace the tap and I bleached the bin to be sure to be rid of any smell when I stored it for a while. There is probably good reason why the instructions say not to use bleach - the next batch didn't work well, but now its going OK again. Good luck! MeganI use a worm farm/composter. I have fine mesh around the vents on the top tier to stop critters munching through the plastic. I have it raised on a stand as well which makes it hard for vermin to get to it. Compost seems to break down a lot quicker in worm composters than other types of composters.

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