Frequently Asked Questions
The production model of Subpod is currently in production, ready for purchase online in Australia and the USA by May / June 2019. Please signup to our newsletter to stay informed with launch and release dates.
In the meantime, we're selling and installing a prototype version of the Subpod locally in the Byron Bay / Northern Rivers area in NSW Australia.
We're currently LIVE with our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Click here. You can support us by pre-ordering a Subpod (or multiple!). We'll be fulfilling these pre-orders first, before any other online purchasing will be available. Join our mailing list and stay tuned on this website for more news and updates.
Currently we're only selling a prototype of the Subpod locally in Byron Bay / Northern Rivers region in NSW Australia.
The external dimensions are: 750mm (29.5 in.) L x 450mm (17.7 in.) W x 430mm (16.9 in.) H, including the lid. The internal dimensions are: 710mm (28 in.) L x 410mm (16.1in.) W x 290mm (11.5 in.) H below the soil level. A total internal volume of 115L, which gives a total composting volume of 84L (due to the soil level and air flow area at the top).
30L (7.9 gal.) or 15kgs (34 lb) of food waste per week per Subpod. This can be optimised for higher performance, and we'll go into detail on this on our website and support videos.
In most systems because you are creating worm castings in a confined area, then you need to take them out and apply them to your garden. This is a two step process. For Subpod, it is just the one step of composting and the soil biology does the rest! Of course there are times when people will want to use worm castings in other areas and to do that the lid is large enough to easily scoop out castings.
With regular feeding over time, the Subpod can support 30,000 worms or more. At the start, you will have 1000 worms (or more, depending on how many you order). In time, your worm family will grow and you will have an abundant supply of worms. You may even decide to give some worms to your friends or family to help them start a Subpod :)
Worms will adapt to their environment. So, if there is an abundant supply of food for them they will reproduce and expand out through your garden bed. If there is a lack of food, the worms will not reproduce at a lower rate.
Subpod doesn't currently come with worms. Generally, compost worms can be bought from community gardens or home hardware stores. There are also worm suppliers online, so you can do a (Google) search with “your area” and “purchase worms” (or something similar) and you will get some worm purchasing options local to you. It is safe for worms to be mailed through the post and they are fine in transit for 4 to 5 days with no hardship.
You can't just use worms from your garden; these are earthworms and have different taste buds to compost worms which have evolved to eat rotting plant matter. Tiger worms or Red worm (Eisenia foetida) and the Indian blue worm (Perionyx excqvatus) are the best worms for Subpod. Contact your local worm supplier to find the best compost worms for your area or reach out to us and we will try to help you find a local provider.
It allows you to compost directly into your food garden
Because you’re composting in the soil, your compost is insulated → this means you can compost in temperate or subtropical climates
Because it is encased predominantly in the ground, it’s a deterrent to pests and predators
The worms are able to move freely between the Subpod module and the surrounding garden in order to distribute nutrients
The Subpod is a unique interconnecting design that allows multiple modules to be added to cater to larger volumes of waste. The modular design, along with the bench seating aspect, makes it perfect for cafes and restaurants.
Within any garden in an outdoor location, and in most climates or environments globally. We've designed the system to withstand hot and humid environments, as well as cold and snowy environments. Being below-ground works as a natural insulator to the elements, allowing you to compost year round.
Because of it's modular design, it can easily be upscaled and adapted to suit larger volumes of food waste in large settings, such as schools, eco-resorts or community gardens.
You can either embed the Subpod directly into the ground or embed it within an existing raised garden bed. See the Subpod dimensions above for a size guide. Subpod just needs to be buried down about 380mm deep, leaving the air vents and lid exposed (for ventilation). Otherwise you can build a raised garden bed. A good minimum size that will also provide some food growing space is 90cm (3ft.) wide by 1.5 M (5ft.) long.
You've seen photos of the early prototypes in action, and 3d renders of the production model. These 3d renders are taken from the production files we are using to go to manufacture and are an accurate representation of the final Subpod. It will be flat-packed, durable and high quality - and made from 100% uncoloured recycled plastic.
Yes, it will work in most climatic conditions, as long as your garden bed soil is healthy and attended to
The big benefit of this system and its subsurface nature. Being embedded into the soil, the system is naturally insulated by the soil, keeping extreme heat and cold from spoiling the contents. As the worms can freely move in and out from the system, if they need further protection from the elements, they'll simply dig down further into the surrounding soil.
The Subpod will be sent to your door in a flat pack
There will be a how-to video available to customers that guides them in the set-up process
Food scraps, including citrus, onions, fish, and even meat on the bone (in small quantities, after 4 months of use); paper and cardboard items; lawn and garden clippings; and a whole lot more. You can view a list of 101 items on our website www.compostcentral.com.au
Chili’s - they’re too hot and burn the gut of the worms, stopping them from reproducing
There are a few items you can only introduce into your compost bin after 5 months of installation e.g. meat on the bone and citrus
Due to it's below-ground design, Subpod is naturally insulated which eliminates the typical nasty smells you'd experience with an above-ground system.
Very little. Once or twice a week is great. The worms and microbes do most of the work for you - you just need to feed them and turn the compost with an aerator each time.
2 handfuls of shredded/torn up newsprint (e.g. carbon) per week
For added beneficial bonus to the soil, add biochar - add a coffee cup worth each week → purchase biochar from Andrew or another local supplier
When the Subpod is full, leave it for 2 weeks so that the worms and microbes can finish processing all of the waste, then take out 75% of the compost material which is then ready to be put in your garden
After the 2 weeks the soil will be jet black, moist and contain very little other material other than the soil, with a sweet earthy aroma - that’s when you know it’s ready to use
For the die-hards, it’s easy to separate the worms from the soil and if you’re able to do that then put the surplus worms back into the remaining 15%
Reference Andrew’s video regarding how to separate the worms from the castings
Please be patient with the dear worms! Don’t try to use the compost before it’s ready
Do not feed the worms for the first week
In the 2nd week add 2-5L of food waste per week for 5 weeks
After 6 weeks you can compost up to 10L of waste per week
After 12 weeks you can compost up to 20L of waste per week
Don’t stress, the worms can survive for up to 2 months due to the moistness of the soil surrounding the module
There is ample food and nutrients below ground for them to survive and so that they can continue their breeding cycle
After extensive testing and research we have decided to use HDPE (high density polyethylene). It is BPA free, food safe, and doesn't leech into the soil. It will be half recycled HDPE and half virgin HDPE, to give us the best and longest lasting product. HDPE is UV stable and can withstand high temperatures of about 100 degrees C (212F), and will ensure a minimum useable lifespan of 10-15 years (very long for a consumer product today), after which it is 100% recyclable.
Our design brief was simple. We needed a material which keeps pests and rats out, is sturdy and structural (as it is being used as seating), and doesn't easily biodegrade (within 5-10 years) as it is being buried in soil surrounded by high microbial activity. This material gives us a minimum useable lifespan of 10-15 years (very long for a consumer product today), after which it is 100% recyclable.
Every Subpod purchase includes: - 1 x Subpod - 1 x 100% Natural fibre worm blanket to keep your compost covered and worms happy - Detailed instruction manual (printed & online) - Access to our online community portal, Subpod Grow Hub - where you can interact with other Subpod users around the globe, sharing tips, tricks, and success stories. - Online instructional and DYI videos to help your garden to flourish - Attentive customer support (online & phone)