Exaco Aerobin 400 Insulated Composter and Self Aeration System Reviews

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3.9 out of 5 stars based on 23 customer reviews

Product Description

The Aerobin 400 is a true revolution in composters. The first of its kind insulated composter with its own unique patented aeration lung and double bottom to collect compost liquid. Insulated with polytyrine against cold weather and aeration lung means no turning needed. Includes two doors to remove compost. Heavy duty construction ensures composter won’t blow over or fall apart.

Customer Reviews

Poor design, plastic does not hold up. ~ reviewed by Pitcom

I am surprised that there have been no other comments about the construction of the Aerobin. For its hefty price tag, one would expect a well built, sturdy bin, and for the most part it is. However, the problem that I experienced really highlights the inadequate design of this bin. As the bin filled up with material and sat through the hot summer months, the sides began to bulge and now my panels do not line up correctly. They no longer “snap” into place. I have been able to reach temperatures of around 140 degrees inside of the aerobin for an extended period of time, but compared to a traditional compost pile, the aerobin falls short in the time it takes to make compost. I have had mine for nearly 2 years now, and I think it is close to retirement. I would not recommend this product to others.

Aerobin 400 – let down by the tap ~ reviewed by DevonBruces

I’ve had my Aerobin 400 for about two years now, and have had some good compost out of it, although I have to agree with other reviewers that it takes a LONG time to break down twigs from hedge clippings. From now on I will only be using it for softer things like food waste and paper. My bin smells perfectly fine inside, and is home to about a thousand happy little worms (which I’m completely thrilled with, as they do half of the work – ironically I couldn’t keep worms alive in a wormery, but in my composter they thrive!), also slugs, ants and all sorts of creepy-crawly wildlife, which all seem to be happily helping turn my veggie waste into compost. Slightly less thrilling are the clouds of little fruit flies that zoom out whenever you take the lid off, but they’re only a minor nuisance. I like the fact that it’s completely sealed, which is great for a tiny garden where you want to avoid nasty smells and rats.

In my opinion, the tap to drain off the ‘tea’ is the thing that completely lets this bin down. The installation instructions don’t warn you to raise the up: they should, or, better still, it should be designed in such a way that the tap is more than 1cm off the deck, which it is currently. Because the tap is so low, I attached a piece of plastic piping to it, and have been periodically siphoning off the ‘tea’ to put on the garden. The tap is unbelievably inaccessible (you have to operate it with finger tips in a 3cm square hole) and has got stiffer and stiffer, until this morning I spent over ten minutes trying to open it, failed, and then spent another ten minutes wrestling it shut again. Now I have sore fingers, and achieved only opening it just enough for it to start seeping brown liquid all over my deck, but not enough to siphon any of it out.

I’m going to move the bin in due course. It’ll be a ghastly job, but I think it’ll be worth it so I don’t have to sit in compost juice. If I can get the tap open I shall just place the bin such that the tap can be left open permanently, draining into the garden. A pity not to be able to use the ‘tea’, but unavoidable, given the weakness of their design.

Looong time to get compost! ~ reviewed by Primula Auricula

I bought this composter in November 2009. It was easy to assemble and looked very nice. I was really excited about making compost all year round from my kitchen scraps and shredded office paper! The unit was VERY expensive, but it really looked good and the promise of self-aerating bin sounded really good. I followed instructions to the letter, jump-started it with a bunch of good mature compost from my 2-year old outdoor compost pile, also we were always layering “green” kitchen scraps with shredded paper as was recommended in the instructions. We never added anything to the bin that was not supposed to go there, only “green” scraps and shredded paper, never glossy one only regular paper and newsprint, or any meat scraps or food left-overs, only green kitchen scraps.
Anyway, the composting process is painfully slow, in fact I finally tried to get some compost out of the bin 1.5 years later and there is this half-composted dripping wet mess at the bottom, full of not composted sticks and packed full of earth worms. ( I like earth worms, but where is the long-awaited beautiful ready-to-use compost?) Meanwhile, the composter smells really bad, and the stink is actually very strong, I think that there is just not enough air circulation in the bin and without physically mixing the compost it just sits there and rots, just like in a regular garbage bin. Yesterday I saw a roach in it, and it didn’t make me happy.
I have my doubts about the “self-venting” system, because it doesn’t seem to work very well.
The lid design is not great, IMO. The lid doesn’t stay open and you have to take a it off completely every time you put stuff in it and it’s pretty large and bulky. They should have designed it so it stays half-open when you use a composter.

Anyway, I would not recommend this composter to my gardening and composting friends, because i think it just doesn’t work so good. The amount of money I paid for it, I should be able to get some dirt out of it in 1.5 years! Great idea, but fails to deliver, IMO.
The looks of the unit are great though, and the construction is pretty solid, it is by far the most handsome one out there. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work well to make compost.

AEROBIN 400 – A DISAPPOINTMENT ~ reviewed by Donna M. Carter

This items turned out to be an extremely overpriced plastic garbage receptacle.
Assembly was difficult since pieces were not labeled to aid in placing them correctly, if snapped into the wrong slots (sides all looked pretty much alike), they were very difficult to remove. Aerobin customer service was not very helpful providing assistance.

The unit is very tall and trying to dig down to the bottom to turn the waste requires a long handled tool (not provided) and it’s very difficult. Often the bottom trap door pops out while you are trying to turn the waste spilling it out the side. After much frustration I purchased a drum type composter on a stand for a fourth of the cost. I just go out and turn the drum with a hand crank and the compost gets stirred. A much more efficient and less costly alternative to the Aerobin.

The ad for the Aerobin states “Unique patented self aeration lung means no turning needed” however when I called customer support they advised that was incorrect that you DID HAVE TO TURN THE COMPOST MANUALLY. Had I known this I would not have purchased this item. Exaco Trading Aerobin 400 Insulated Composter and Self Aeration System

works good ~ reviewed by eric m. ringsmith

I like it. It works just as they say. Generates quite a bit of heat. The only thing that is kind of a pain is the drain tube location. You have to put this up on blocks so you can drain it, but in order to put the drain in a convenient spot the access doors are now awkward, especially if you don’t have 360* access.

As idiot proof as possible ~ reviewed by Remy O.

Trying to get my gardeners to understand and monitor my composting efforts was an exercise in futility until the Aerobin. I had 4 fancy side-by-side wood and wire bins built with beautiful wood finials, so they were also a element in the landscape. Never worked – either too wet, too dry, -supposedly critter proof -NOT, etc. Tried various other methods and compostors. Was thinking of giving up. Gave one more effort to research. The only early model that came near success, had been a small plastic one that I added stuff at the top, and harvested from the bottom. But, I have a lot of kitchen and garden waste. The Aerobin was a pleasant surprise from the beginning for both me and the gardeners. We were all excited, when, every time we lifted the lid, you could actually feel warmth, so, I actually had a heat environment happening in my compost. The only misstep was the gardeners filled one too high and blocked the air vent system in the center – very dramatic. Went from warm and cooking away, to dead cold in a week. You also should frequently check and drain the bottom compost leachate tank -liquid is great for plants diluted. They could have a better spigot for draining the leachate tank.

Easy to assemble ~ reviewed by karl sirotkin

Was easy to install, cinder blocks and slight grade useful. Might be worth 5 stars, just do not yet have data on how good “lungs” really work to speed up process.

Buy a different one if you want compost ~ reviewed by Annette M. Butler

I set this up exactly a year ago, and waited until today to dig out the compost. On the positive side, this was easy to set up, it looks great in the yard, and it is a place to put kitchen scraps to compost without having my dog get into them. However, the yield of compost after faithfully putting layers of kitchen scraps and crumpled leaves in it all year was a measly 1/3 of a wheelbarrow. At the same time I set this up I placed our fall leaves in a chicken wire container elsewhere in the yard and did nothing, no turning, no scraps, etc. and now have lovely compost, far more than I got with the aerobin. So I recomend skipping this one unless you have a yard golden retriever like I do and you need a place to store the scraps. By the way, one real negative for me on this thing is that roaches have moved in…I bought roach motels and stuck them inside the thing but still saw them today when I was getting out my compost. I just bought a different unit from our city which is simply 12 gauge galvenized mesh and it folds up neatly when not in use (C E Shepard Company) which the neighbor says gave her great compost. I’ll keep using the aerobin too because it dosen’t smell and eventually the stuff turns into compost…but I was disapointed with the results considering the cost.

Aerobin 400 ~ reviewed by Laurie A. Moran

This composter seems well constructed and sturdy and I was impressed with its large capacity. The assembly instructions were clear and was easy for me to put together by myself in less than 15 minutes. I picked it specifically because I need a composter that I could put directly on my large concrete patio. The Aerobin has a plastic bottom and is designed for use on paved areas, unlike most other composters I’ve found which have an open bottom designed to put on soil. I haven’t had it long enough to judge how well it produces compost, but it comes with very detailed and helpful instructions for its use.

compost tea ~ reviewed by keep trying

I installed the aerobin in june. It creates a lot of heat and produces a good amount of compost tea.Too much solids make the side doors hard to open as the pressure builds up. I am concerned about the tap to empty the compost tea as I have used it several times and each time it became harder to turn until finally I am unable to close it. I have not used force as I am afraid to break it.I am also wondering how the drainage pipe and tap would hold up during winter when the compost tea freezes and expands.Buy it at Amazon

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