DIY plastic drum BSFL compost bin

After the success of my previous BSFL compost bins I decided that for this coming season I will build a larger system that will allow me to use more larvae and compost more food waste. So I use the materials I collected over the months and started the construction of Pantagruel. Those who have followed me must now know about Gargantua, my DIY CFT. In the french Literature, Gargantua is a character from a novel from the 16th century by François Rabelais, Pantagruel is Gargantua's son, they both have a huge appetite.

About two years ago, I have collected three 220L (55 gallons) plastic drums, two of which have been converted to rainwater tanks. There was one still left untouched and I wanted to use it for something. This project was the perfect opportunity.


I asked a friend, Ruoxi, to come and have fun with me for the conversion of this plastic drum into a Black Soldier Fly Larvae compost bin. We spent the sunday afternoon and came up with this:


The next day, dad came and helped me continue the construction adding the frame to the other half of the drum and reinforcing the legs.




Just like Gargantua, Pantagruel was built large enough to allow ease of management. I can mix more carbon rich material with the food waste to reduce odour. It is also a custom height that allows me to work without bending my back.


Over the week I added more improvements and then my son, Thien-San, came and help painting the wood.



This is a great family activity, three generations working together on the same project. Then all of our effort finally gave a result.



I like this combination of blue and red color. The drain holes seem to work well.





I covered the bottom of the bin with a thick layer of coarse coco coir as filter medium.


And then transfered the content from the previous BSFL compost bin to Pantagruel.


Next step is to install some egg traps inside the bin.

Posted in A day in a worm farm, Black Soldier Fly Larvae on