How to Build a Cinder Block Compost Pile


Composting transforms organic plant material into rich, friable humus. Although you do not have to have one, most choose to compost in a compost pile container. A simple compost container can be made out of nearly any material, including cinder blocks. The only real limitation on a compost pile is size. To compost effectively, a compost pile container must be able to hold a pile that is between 3 and 5 cubic feet.

Step 1

Choose the right location. Locate your cinder block compost pile on open ground so that the bottom of the pile has direct contact with the earth. The site must be level in order for you to build a stable compost pile bin. Use a builder's level to check. If it is not level, add or excavate soil until you have a level surface. Use a flat-edged soil to scrape a level edge if necessary.

Step 2

Make your base. Create four sides that are each three cinder blocks long.

Step 3

Use your builder's level to make sure that all four sides of your base are level to the ground. Check each block. If any are not level, lift them and excavate or add some soil beneath them.

Step 4

Build your cinder block walls so that they are five cinder blocks high. To add stability, stagger each row so that the middle of a cinder block rests on the joint between the two cinder blocks beneath it. This will mean creating half cinder blocks to fill in the half-block spaces on every other row. To break cinder blocks in half, hammer a chisel along the mid-line (of the 16 inches side) of your cinder block.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Builder's level
  • 60 16 x 8 x 8 cinder blocks


  • University of Missouri: How to Build a Compost Bin
  • Yardener: Cement Block Bins
Keywords: cinder block, compost bin, pile container

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.