Back in January 2011 in a bid to be more eco-friendly my family and I started using a Green Johanna hot composter. The idea was that we would reduce the amount of organic waste we put into landfill and produce compost for the garden.

We originally considered a Green Cone which in hindsight may have been a better idea, however the only place we have in our small garden for either system is in the shade, hence choosing the Johanna. 

Over the last 3 years we have done our very best to put all of our organic waste into the Green Johanna however we have come across the same problems again and again:

  • We have a very small inner-city garden, it doesn’t produce enough green/ brown waste relative to our household waste, which means we often had a smelly/ non-composting heap
  • This often led to the composter filling up and we had to wait weeks or months for more space to become available
  • The amount of compost which it (eventually) produced was far too much for our little vegetable patch


In the end the decision was made for us by our local authority; they started weekly kitchen waste collections. They also started collecting almost all other forms of recycling from the roadside, which made our weekly trips to the local center a thing of the past.

We still have some compost in the Green Johanna which will go onto the vege patch this Autumn/ Winter ready for next years crop, but after that is emptied out the balance of the composter contents will go into the green waste bag for roadside collection, and we will be selling the system.

It’s a real shame as if I am honest I had dreams of our own little slice of ” The Good Life” but at the end of the day a tiny city garden (or at least ours) just doesn’t produce enough waste to balance the output from our kitchen and produce a healthy compost heap.

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