Portable Compost Trommel

Student | Aazam Otero
Faculty | Kat Choate, Dan Penge
Continuing Education, Sustainability Certificate

A portable compost trommel facilitates the capacity of a community garden or a network of gardens to become self-sufficient in producing their own high-quality compost on-site.

The development of an affordably constructed trommel builds upon existing compost infrastructure, reduces reliance upon tenuous city services and contributes to the shared economy. Recent cuts to composting services in NYC make this issue a more prescient one as sites will need to build their capacity and efficiency to produce their own compost for the foreseeable future. 

This early prototype of a portable compost trommel can be attached to any bicycle and towed to different sites. The trommel consists of a basic wood frame that holds a rotary sieve and motor. When detached from the bicycle, the trommel rests at an angle that will facilitate the movement of material through the sieve while a wheelbarrow fits underneath the motorized sieve to catch screened compost. 
 An existing DIY compost trommel in the Bronx. This trommel, while similar to the prototype, is not scaled to fit the portable application and is difficult for users
Most compost trommels are scaled for larger industrial operations, including portable ones, which run on gas motors and must be towed by larger vehicles. 
Screening compost removes unfinished & woody material, rocks, and inorganic components. Screened compost is ideal for soil amendment to contribute to the microbiology and fertility of the soil. This is particularly necessary in container and raised bed garden systems.