Compost Turning with Polly

This page describes the way the site is maintained and how compost is made.  The essential characteristic of good compost is that it is made from a mix of materials and is well aereated.  Regular turning is essential!  From where the waste is tipped at the right of the site we will try to move compost left as it ages, taking from the top of the pile and putting at the bottom to mix the materials over time and introduce plenty of air by lifting and tipping.

The following is a guide to how to do this with the tractor.

1. Using the Controls
Moving the lower lever down will raise the shovel assembly.  To lower it, raise the lever.
Moving the lower lever to the right will tip the shovel.  To lift it, move the lever left.
When lifting compost, always have the shovel inclined slightly upwards:

The upper lever controls the jaws of the shovel.  Move to the left to open:

2. Basic Strategy

Move the compost in chronological sequence where possible, from right (where the new waste is tipped) to the left.  Try to maintain this sequence so the oldest compost is always at the left.
Take from the top, and make this the bottom of the new stack.

Use the jaws to lift loose material:

3. Getting Smarter

You will find it difficult to lift material once it is against the railway embankment (some day we'll have a wall).  So use the open jaws to drag it down onto the flat surface - engage reverse gear and drive slowly back whilst raising the lower lever to pull the jaws down.  It's easy once you get the hang of it!

Practice your wobbles!  You will find it easier to fill the bucket if you vary the tilt a little while driving slowly forward into the pile.  This is done by moving the lower lever from side to side quickly.  The wobble is also useful to empty the bucket as it shakes compacted material free.

Do clean the bucket before leaving the site - there's nothing quite like having compost blown into your face while driving along!

Johnshaven's Environmental Group.
Site last updated 4th September 2019 
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