Ridan Food waste Composters – Frequently asked questions
Here we have attempted to answer some of the most common questions asked by our customers. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please get in touch.
You can also refer to our Facebook group:
What can be added to a composter?
Any form of bio-degradable material. This includes all food stuff whether raw or cooked.
You can also add green waste from the garden, but the vitally important thing is to add an equal amount of carbon (wood) and nitrogen (food waste / green waste).
What is the best wood additive to use?
Wood pellets are easy and they make great compost, you only need to add a quarter as much by volume. The cost will be about £2 to £4 a week for a typical system.
Sawdust, wood shavings and wood chip all work really well as long as they are clean, fresh and dry. These are often available for free as a waste product. They must be added in equal amounts to the food waste by volume.
Larger wood chips will take longer to break down than the food waste, so the compost can be coarse.
I have free shredded wood waste on site, is it suitable as the wood additive?
Yes it will work very well, just ensure that the shredded wood or wood chip is either used fresh or dry stored. If left out in the rain it will become wet, rot and then won’t be any good.
The best wood additive is dry wood chip, sawdust, wood shavings or wood pellets. These work fantastically.
Can dead leaves be used as a carbon source rather than wood?
Dead leaves have very little to offer the composting process. If using the Ridan Pro, avoid adding leaves to the Composter, but you can add them to the maturation bins later as they will break down and add to the structure of the final compost.
Dead leaves can be added to the Compost Box, but only to help build the structure of the compost, they will not help with the composting process, so don’t add too much.
Can straw be used as a carbon source for composting instead of wood?
No, Straw has the same qualities as dead leaves as described above.
Can I compost paper, card and tissue?
Yes, but not through the Ridan Pro composter.
Paper, card, tissue, and other paper products contain adhesives and china clay which will break down slowly, especially when damp. So tear or shred them small, then layer them into the maturation box, or the Ridan Compost Box and leave them for a minimum of two months, preferably much longer.
Can compostable bags and tableware be composted?
Yes, but compostable bags and tableware break down slowly and they don’t add anything to the hot composting process. It is better to compost them in the maturation boxes by layering them into the mix.
If your food waste is in compostable bags, either empty the contents into the Ridan, or tear it before loading as the bag will take more time to break down, thereby preventing the food inside from composting.
How to make perfect compost
This is a detailed subject so we have written an article dedicated to the subject of how to make perfect compost.
Composting with a Ridan composter
How long does the waste food stay inside the Ridan?
For The Ridan Pro it is a minimum of two weeks when being used at full capacity, however, for regular use it’s usually longer than this.
The Ridan Compost Box will take about three months.
What happens if I turn the handle of the Ridan Pro composter too much?
As the handle is turned, the mixture is aerated so turn as much as you like. As you turn, compost will emerge – if the emerging compost is not yet broken down, then simply put it back in through the lid and let it pass through the system again.
What happens if I stop using the Ridan Pro composter?
You can stop using your Ridan at any time for a weekend or even a long holiday. Whilst inactive, the system will gradually cool down and work more slowly. As soon as you feed it and turn the handle, it will warm up and carry on just as before.
What if the Ridan Pro handle is hard to turn?
When the handle gets difficult to turn, it means that your Ridan is too full. At this point, you need to stop adding any more food waste but keep turning the handle until you can easily see the paddles sticking well out of the mixture. You must always keep the mixture at this level (about two thirds full).
What if the mixture in the Ridan Pro stays cold?
The mixture inside your Ridan should always be above 50 degrees C and preferably closer to 60 C in order for the composting process to work efficiently. If it is not that hot, try the following:
- Add more wood, chips, pellets or sawdust.
- Ensure that your Ridan is not too full. It should be around two thirds full (make sure that you can see the paddles).
- Turn the handle more frequently every day.
When do I empty the Ridan Pro?
Food waste passes right through and all of the composting microbes will live inside, so you never need to empty it, just take out enough compost every day.
Are there any other similar products on the market?
Yes there are a few, but they all cost much more and they all consume power. The Ridan costs much less to buy and is free to use as it does not consume power.
Regulations for businesses – What do I need to consider?
The Environment Agency like to know who is composting their own food waste on-site, so you should tell them what you are doing by completing a Waste Exemption application which is very simple, see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/waste-exemption-t23-aerobic-composting-and-associated-prior-treatment for details