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Compost Comparison-5 Methods

Compost Comparison-5 Methods

Compost Comparison-5 methods looks at several methods of collecting waste for composting in an ECO-EZE Compot composter.

For a long time I have wondered which method of collecting kitchen waste would work better when used in conjunction with an ECO-EZE Compot Composter.  So I set out to test 5 methods.

The whole experiment from beginning to end took 11 weeks. The 12th Week was just to do the pH testing. Then a few more weeks to edit and write up the article.

5 Methods I Used

  1. Bokashi Spray
  2. Bokashi Bran
  3. No Additives
  4. Waste Water
  5. Bokashi Bran + Water

I have always maintained that collecting your waste with “wastewater” is the best method for fast decomposition using the Black Soldier Fly as the main compost critter. As opposed to using worms. 

The Black Soldier Fly was present in all five of these containers and no worms arrived till after the 12th week of the experiment.

I set up 5 (mostly) airtight containers though initially there were only 4 containers. I had ordered a container I prefer to use which arrived the second week of the experiment.
So I added a 5th container for Bokashi Bran and Water. I was of the impression that Bokashi Bran dried out the food waste. Adding some water the night before you empty your scraps was intended to “rehydrate” the waste. This should make it easier for compost critters to break down the waste.

However, adding water the night before you empty your waste, will make it easier to tip the contents into the Compot. But observing what occurred with the tests, it did not seem to change the rate of decomposition with the Bran. This result could also vary depending on the amount of Bran you might use.  I did not overdo the Bran, and I am not sure what the ratio of Bran to waste should be. 

I think if you used more Bran you would get a larger quantity of soil produced as the end result.  This is just a theory and I would need to test different quantities of bran in order to prove this one way or the other.

What waste did I use?

Mixed Waste 1

The waste contents were weighed, measured, and divided into 4 or 5 parts: Fennel, Cabbage,Mixed Onions & Skins, Mixed Greens,Potato, Partly Rotten Meat, Mixed Citrus Pieces, Old Cake, Milk, Oil, Paper Towel, Tea Bags, Grease Proof Paper, Herbs

Veggie scraps were collected from a green grocer. Other items came from my kitchen waste.  Separating and weighing the waste was a tedious process but necessary to compare the differences.  Each container had the same quantity and weight of waste as best could be measured give or take a gram.  You can watch the set up here on this link – Part 1.

Though this is not a scientific experiment it returned adequate results to draw a conclusion as to which method was faster, more efficient or produced more soil.  In addition a pH test was done on the contents left in the Compot at the end of the experiment and the surrounding soil outside the Compot at the base where the highest density of nutrients would potentially settle. 

Containers and Contents

  1. Bokashi Style container with Bokashi Spray.  A dedicated Bokashi Style container with a tap at the bottom to remove juices.

  2. 10 litre White Storage container for Bokashi Bran sprinkled through and on top the contents.

  3. 10 litre White Storage container for Waste Water which normally would be any water I might be throwing down the kitchen drain. But in this instance I added plain fresh water so the experiment did not have an advantage over the other containers.

  4. 10 litre Round Bucket with no Additives or water added.

  5. 5 litre Clear Plastic container for Bran + Water. 

A comparison of the containers can be read here as soon as I complete this article.

The process I followed


The first four containers had the same type of waste and weight with less than 0.001gram difference.  A very fiddly task to do. Each container was topped up weekly – 3 times over a two week period.
Except for the fifth container,  which was added in the second week when the new container arrived Therefore this container had no meat added and only two lots of scraps.   

The Bokashi Spray contents were drained each week (2 times) to remove the juice.  This was super stinky and mainly juice from the frozen meat.

No other container had any juice drained off, nor did they smell as bad either.  Some had a slight odour that was quite tolerable and nowhere near the odour of the Bokashi Spray container. 

Even the container with no additives hardly smelt at all, which I found quite interesting considering it contained rotten meat and would have produced the same juice as Bokashi Spray

All containers were then left to rest for two more weeks before being put inside 5 Compots.  This was the beginning of the 5th week.  I did not need to wait this long.  It came down to the time I had available to do the videoing.  They could easily have been emptied a day or two after the last addition of waste or any time during the collection phase if you were collecting the waste in your own home.

I always wait till my containers are full before I empty them. However if they get too stinky from old cat food I may empty them sooner if the odour becomes intolerable.  Or I’ll juice some citrus and put the rinds in the waste container which often makes the contents smell really sweet.  But cat food is in a class of its own and you never know how quickly it will go off.  Cat Food can make your collection container super smelly overnight.  Even meat does not “go off” as quickly as old cat food.

However, just this week I had a smelly container with a lot of old cat food and a heap of spinach that was going off.  It appears that all this green waste with the cat waste greatly reduced the odour.  This might be a “one off” situation but worth remembering if you find you have a super smelly container and no time to empty it.  Which is often the case with me. 

I then checked each week to see what had occurred inside each Compot in the ground and recorded roughly the quantity of waste remaining in each Compot.

In the final week I filled up five take-away containers to get a better gauge of the quantity of “soil” produced from each process.  Finally I did a pH test of the contents of each pot in the 12th week, including a test of the soil below each pot to see if there was any discernible difference.

The final result of 5 Methods of Collecting Waste

These pictures are from every second week otherwise there were too many pictures.   You can see the level of decomposition and how much waste remains every two weeks.    And finally you see how much waste/soil remains at the end of the whole process.

Each container has three lots of waste except no 5 which  has 2 





Bran +

Collected Waste

Week 5
Day 29

Bokashi Spray Week 5
Waste Water Week 5

In the Ground

Week 1 Day 1

(Week 1 Day 29 overall)


In the Ground

Week 3 Day 14 

(Week 7 Day 43 Overall)


Pots 1, 3 & 4 were all similar qty

Pot 2 & 5 were similar quantity


In the Ground

Week 5 Day 28

(Week 9

Day 57 Overall)


Pot 1 & 4 similar 

Pot 3 & 5 similar

Pot 2 biggest qty


In the ground

Week 7 Day 42

(Week 11

Day 71 Overall)


Pot 1 & 4 similar

Pot 3 & 5 similar

Pot 2 twice the qty


The final breakdown

From beginning to end the whole experiment took 11 Weeks (78 Days).  
The waste was collected over 14 days (2 weeks) Three lots of waste.
Allowed to rest 14 days (2 weeks) this was only due to the time I had available to do a video.
In the ground for 49 days (7 weeks) 

All 5 containers were roughly the same after 2 weeks (14 days) in the ground, except the Bokashi Bran which had almost double the contents of the other 4 containers.Two more weeks and the difference between all 5 containers was starting to show with the Bokashi Bran still having roughly double the contents of the other 4 containers.

By the 7th week (49 days in the ground) it was clear to see the difference between each container.

I left them to rest for one more week while I considered how to measure the contents. This extra week would not be necessary if you were doing this at home. The contents had composted down enough by the 6th week.

So one week later I put the contents of each pot into take away containers both small and large.

Order of pots - smallest to largest contents

Smallest to largest
Pot 4,1,5,3,2

Pot 1 Day 49 Small Levelish Bowl
  1. Waste Water (Pot 4) had the least amount of contents remaining
  2. Bokashi Spray (Pot 1) just every so slightly more than the Waste Water (Pot 4)
  3. No Additives (Pot 3) slightly more than Pot 1 & 4, which really surprised me.
  4. Bokashi Bran + Water (Pot 5) but it only had two weeks of waste, and no meat.
  5. Bokashi Bran (Pot 2) had the most contents remaining at the end of the experiment.

My surmation

    1. Waste-Water is the best method if you don’t want a lot of work.  Because it emptied the best it means the soil does not accumulate as fast so you don’t have to empty it as often.  Plus you can add more waste each time you top it up because there is more room.  Which means you don’t need as many pots – unless you choose to have more pots to nourish more parts of your garden. You do need to consider the odour in this method if you soak your scraps for a long time like I do.  And, because some things go off quicker than others.  Like cat food. (Stinky Stuff).

      The odour can be like Bokashi Spray depending on what scraps you put in your container and how often you empty your scraps.  So you need an airtight container with a good seal.  Empty your scraps if the odour gets unbearable or add more waste water to dilute the odour.  There was very little odour in this experiment. This might be because I added fresh water as opposed to wastewater.  It would require another experiment to ascertain if the type of water made the contents smell more or less.  An experiment for another day perhaps.  This is still my preferred method for fast composting.

    2. Bokashi Bran seems to be the best method if you want to accumulate soil for use in other parts of your garden or perhaps pot plant containers or above ground garden beds. This of course means you would have to empty your pots more often as they would fill up with soil faster than the other methods.  This will suit a lot of people who want to continually harvest the soil. It could potentially mean you need more pots if you are not very consistent with emptying them.

      But more pots is a good thing.  It means you are nourishing more parts of your garden.  And if you used Bokashi Bran in my Above Ground Method you could potentially create more soil than it already does.  Thus you will always have soil for your pot plants or raised garden beds without the need for large bay composters or tumblers.  It’s up to you of course.

    3. Bokashi Bran and Water would be my next choice. Adding the water will help keep the contents moist and make it easier to empty the contents into a Compot.  However it appears there is no other real advantage using this method as opposed to just using the Bran with no water added.  One advantage with the Bran is that it did not smell like the Bokashi Spray smelt. That is a definite bonus.

    4. Bokashi Spray would be my next choice but in all honesty the smell was quite putrid.  However if you used the spray and left the meat out the odour would be considerably less.  You do have the advantage of collecting juices with this method but if you don’t drain off the juices you will potentially have a very smelly waste container.

      I personally don’t have time to fiddle with collecting juices to use in the garden.  I tend to use the composted soil to make fertiliser by putting a handful in a bucket of water and pouring this mix back onto the garden or the lawn as a natural fertiliser.  This I can do whenever I feel like it, rather than the odour dictating when I need to collect the juices.  But it is up to you to do what you prefer.

      Alternatively you could use the Bokashi container with waste water and either drain off the juices as you like or don’t drain off the juices.  If you don’t drain the juices this method would then be the same as Pot 4 with Waste Water.  If you have a Bokashi Bucket you can try both methods to see which one you prefer and you still get to put your Bokashi Bucket to good use.

    5. No Additives I have chosen as the last choice. This is a great method for people who have worms in their pots or worm farms, and generally only collect worm friendly food.  Most people would not let the waste sit for 3 weeks on their kitchen bench. They would empty it more regularly on a daily or weekly basis and they would not put in any meat products.  This method works well in raised garden beds that are relatively inaccessible to vermin.

      Usually, if you put fresh waste (especially meat) inside your Compots you will attract vermin.  I never recommend this method for that reason.  I was lucky with this experiment.

      I did have meat in this container but I am taking an educated guess that the waste had fermented over the three week period as it broke down.  Because it fermented, I am assuming this is what detered the vermin.   This is why I always recommend that your waste be soaked in water to ferment it.

      As a general rule the vermin don’t like the fermentation smell. There is nothing edible in the pots for them to eat but stinky fermented waste.  Unless of course you haven’t fermented the waste enough and they come for the waste but find a smorgesboard of Soldier Fly Larvae and food scraps.  Something to consider if you are only useing worm friendly waste.  Rats love worms too.

      The other reason why I don’t recommend the method of not adding any additives (though clearly it is do-able over a three week period) is because worms love meat.  But they overeat meat and it kills them.  Ideally if you are going to use this method without any additives just leave out the meat or any product associated with meat. 

      As you can see over a three week period it worked just as well as the other 4 methods.  There is no reason why you can’t do this but without the meat. If you don’t attract the Soldier Flies to your pots (and are using worms only) it will take longer to break down unless you chop the waste into smaller bits or blend it in a blender.  Two things I could not be bothered doing.  But if you have the time it is still a very good method to use -without the meat.

And now last but not least

The pH Results

The pH Tests

Pot 5 Inside 7.5pH

The pH Tests
Outside Contents
Below the Pots

Pot 1 Outside 7 7.5pH
Pot 2 Outside 6pH
Pot 3 Outside 6pH
Pot 5 Outside 7.5pH

All the contents inside the Pots were around 6 to 6.5 slightly Acidic to Neutral, except Pot 5 (Bokashi Bran + Water) showing at 7.5 to 8, Neutral to just ever so slightly more Alkaline. 

In the soil outside the pots and at the bottom of the hole Pot 1, 2 & 3 were slightly Acidic to Neutral at 6 to 6.5. While Pots 4 & 5 were Neutral to slightly Alkaline at 7.5 to 8.

You could use those pH readings as a guide on how you want to process your waste according to what pH your plant likes. More Acidic Soil or More Alkaline Soil or Neutral. 

I would not take this as absolute as there are bound to be variations depending on what waste you put in your pots and what your soil is like.  And whether the worms process it further both inside or outside the Compots. 

I forgot to add fish or prawns in the mix so that could potentially change the pH again.   But I think it would be fair to say that the results would not change that much from the results shown above.



Both these pictures came from the Deep Green Permaculture Article. Well worth the read and it has a list of plants that like certain pH levels.  A good reference for some plants.

You can do your own tests to find out what kind of soil you have and how the Compots change that soil.  Test the soil before you even start so you will know if it has changed after you start composting with the ECO-EZE Compots.

In conclusion

You have seen the results, so now you can decide what method you prefer. 
They are all good in their own way and none of them were bad. It is up to you what you want to do – Fast Composting, or Creating Soil, or helping the pH in your soil to grow plants. So many choices now.

If you are not sure then stick to my method of using wastewater to soak your scraps, nourish your garden, put wasted water back in your garden, and get fast compost results without all the usual work required to compost.

And if you want a fast method of composting green waste and weed waste then read my article on Composting Scurvy Weed where there are several methods I tested. One in particular gives me fantastic results around my paw paw tree.  Have you ever seen a Paw Paw tree growing new leaves half way up the trunk of the tree?  I am keen to see what it does over time.  Will all these extra branches produce new flowers and new bunches of fruit?  Time will tell.


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