How to Make & Maintain a Compost Bin


A circular wire compost bin is easy to make and a good way to get started on backyard composting. Homemade compost benefits garden soil by adding micronutrients that create healthy plants, and healthy plants make healthy food. Many city recycling programs have workshops that teach composting. There are many types of compost bins, from wooden pallet styles to commercially available plastic varieties. You can easily get started with the circular wire bin.

Build a Wire Compost Bin

Step 1

Choose a place near a water source, but away from the house and wooden fences. A sunny area helps the compost pile maintain heat.

Step 2

Roll the chicken-coop wire into a cylinder. It will be about 3.18 feet in diameter.

Step 3

Fasten the cylinder in four places using the 3-inch lengths of wire.

Step 4

Use the plywood as a lid.

How to Maintain the Compost Bin

Step 1

Spread a 4-inch layer of brown materials such as dry leaves, newspapers or straw in the cylinder to create the first layer.

Step 2

Add a 4-inch layer of green materials such as vegetable and fruit scraps, grass clippings, and coffee or tea remains.

Step 3

Water the layers until they are moist but not wringing wet.

Step 4

Repeat steps 1 through 3 until the compost pile is at the top of the bin. The pile may be built at one layer at a time or as the materials become available.

Tips and Warnings

  • If flies develop in the compost bin, add a layer of brown material such as shredded newspaper or dry leaves. Do not use cooking oils, butter, pet manure, meat or dairy products in the compost bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken-coop wire, 3 feet by 10 feet
  • Plywood, 3.18 feet square
  • Wire cutters
  • 4 pieces of wire, 3 inches each
  • Yard and kitchen waste, including newspapers and shredded household paper
  • Water source


  • Maryland State Department of the Environment: Building Your Own Compost Pile

Who Can Help

  • Los Angeles County Smart Gardening Program: Backyard Composting
Keywords: Make compost bin, wire compost bin, compost tips

About this Author

Joan Norton, M.A., is a licensed psychotherapist and professional writer in the field of women's spirituality. She blogs and has two published books on the subject of Mary Magdalene; "14 Steps To Awaken The Sacred Feminine:Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene," and "The Mary Magdalene Within."