DIY Tabletop Composting


Composting is often dismissed by apartment dwellers because of the misconception concerning the need for large space, bins or smells. Composting can be kept inside as long as a daily routine is kept up to maintain it. Using a simple plastic or metal bucket with a lid, you can create a tabletop composting unit. When the compost is completed in a few days the material can be used for plants, roof gardens or garden plots around you.

Step 1

Fill up a sink with warm water and soap. Wash the bucket thoroughly to kill bacteria and remove any residue from the former contents. Rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Dry the bucket completely before continuing.

Step 2

Overturn the bucket onto a table where you can work. Use the 1/4-inch drill bit to drill holes around the bottom of the bucket 1 inch from the edge. These will be the drainage holes for any liquid.

Step 3

Turn the bucket right-side up. Insert the biodegradeable bag and wrap the top of the bag around the lip of the bucket. The organic material will go into the bag and keep the bucket clean longer.

Step 4

Place the lid onto the bucket and secure it tightly. Use the 1/2-inch drill bit to make holes in the lid using the same method used in Step 2. These are the aeration holes.

Step 5

Paint the bucket black. This helps the bucket attract heat, which transfers to the organic material and heats the material to a range between 140 and 160 degrees. The heat is what helps break down the material into compost.

Step 6

Insert dry leaves and thinly shredded newspaper into the bottom of the bag. Place sawdust on top of these materials. Repeat the process until you have a 4-inch layer of dry matter which ensures oxygyn flow through the compost while decreasing liquid build-up.

Step 7

Put the bucket onto the oven tray. Put the oven tray and the bucket on the tabletop in an out of the way location but still within easy reach. You want composting to be accessable but not burdensom.

Step 8

Add available supplies of fruit cores, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, garden waste, old flowers and rice into the compost daily. Mix the compost by vigorously shaking the compost after you add material each day.

Step 9

Empty the contents when the bucket is full or you can't pick it up with one hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket, 5 gallon, with lid
  • Oven pan
  • Biodegradable bag
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 1/2-inch drill bit


  • Ecollo: DIY Compost Bucket
Keywords: compost bucket, indoor composting, apartment compost making

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | DIY Tabletop Composting