For years now I've been composting as much of the green waste from our gardens as possible. I even made a video about it that I posted here. If you watch the end of the video, my dad comes up and drops off half a tree he just cut down.
While making the video, I was ashamed that some of the things I was composting weren't chopped up enough. I tried with a machete and some shovels to get the twigs and leaves to small enough size, but its just not enough. I made that video last monday, and the tree branches my dad dropped off in the back are still there.
We could use our chipper, but its output chute is too small and will clog within minutes. We could use our lawnmower, but its very dangerous and shoot off small stones and pieces of wood, and it doesn't chop everything. Many of the twigs are buried under the top layer and are never chipped. We could rent a chipper, or have a tree service come and chip it, but the larger industrial ones tend to still leave many twigs in large chunks, and are very expensive and use much fuel.
We could buy a huge chipper, but they are usually over $2000 at least!
Plus, all of those solutions use gas, pollute the air, and are noisy. I do have an electric lawnmower we can power with the sun, but it still misses alot of twigs and the blades are getting dull from all the branches I hit it with. It also runs out of juice quickly.
So my dream is to create a man-powered compost chipper, that could handle twigs up to 2 inches and would have a wide output that wouldn't get clogged with green waste. Maybe it would be like a large blender inside a trashcan, or maybe it would be like a massive pencil sharpener.
I found three different designs for hand-crank ones, and these could easily be modified a la mayapedal
Unfortunately, none of them seem to still be in production. I've searched around for the last one, the rotocrop, and I could only find one in New Zealand!
I also found discussions mentioning flywheels
, that would be cool as well. Then we could even use wind power! Another cool invention would be a methane powered chipper that ran off captured methane
from the composting process from the stuff it chipped! Talk about closed loop cycles!
I'd love to make a prototype, but I'm extremely busy. I'll post why soon.