Instructions for How to Build a Compost Bin


A simple compost pile can be made in a level location of the yard or garden where water doesn't stand. There must be room for the material to be stirred or turned by a shovel or pitchfork so air can reach the organisms that break down the composting material. Also, it must be near a source of water so you can water the compost pile if needed to accelerate the composting process. For convenience, locate a compost pile in an area close enough to the house or garden area that is the source of the majority of compost material such as weeds or kitchen scraps.

Step 1

Take the hardware cloth and form a circle with ends overlapping by 2 feet. The bin will be about 42 inches in diameter when completed.

Step 2

Using the tie wraps, tie the overlapping ends of the hardware cloth together. Use 14 tie wraps to attach the overlapping ends together in a way that the overlapping end that is on the outside is secured, as well as the overlapping end on the inside of what is now a large roll of hardware cloth.

Step 3

Find a level place in the garden to set up the bin and stabilize it so wind cannot blow it over. (Once the bin is full of material, it will be stable.) To stabilize the bin, hammer two posts in the ground on opposite sides of the inside of the bin 12 inches deep and fasten the sides of the bin to the metal or wooden posts with three tie wraps evenly spaced on each post.

Step 4

Fill the bin with composting material as needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not put meat or fat into the bin. Use hardware cloth instead of snow fencing or chicken wire because hardware cloth holds its shape better and will not rust, rot or corrode. It is stiffer and can withstand the outward pressure from items being added without bulging or collapsing.

Things You'll Need

  • 15 feet of 36" wide hardware cloth with 1/2" openings
  • 20 plastic tie wraps
  • 2 wooden or metal posts 4 feet long
  • Hammer


  • University of Missouri: How to Build a Compost Bin
  • University of Wisconsin: Compost Bin construction Plans
  • University of Ilinois: Building your Compost Pile
Keywords: composting, building a compost bin, compost bins

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.