How to Build Red Worm Compost Bins


Composting with red worms is the quickest way to compost your kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich organic material for adding to container plants or gardens. A compost bin to hold your red worms can be as small as a plastic bin to keep under the sink or as large as an outdoor bin with a lid. Keeping worms inside your apartment is a great way to compost your kitchen waste for use in your houseplants, and the worms cannot escape, so there's no need to fear that they'll interfere with your cooking area.

Building a Compost Bin

Step 1

Clean and dry a large plastic bin with a tight-fitting lid. Plastic storage bins work well for this. Worm bins should be long and flat versus tall and skinny. Plastic totes work well for these because they are usually tall enough (1 1/2 to 2 feet tall) to accommodate the compost, but wider and longer than they are tall.

Step 2

Drill several small holes in the top of the bin to allow air to flow through.

Step 3

Drill a few small holes in the bottom of the bin. Keep the bottom holes in a small enough area so that when fluids drain out, they can be captured by a pan. The pan should be slightly smaller than the bottom of the bin or much larger.

Step 4

Place four bricks on the ground where you plan to set your composting bin, with one brick under each corner of the bin.

Step 5

Slide the pan under the composting bin to catch any liquid that falls. If the pan is too large to fit in between the bricks, place the bricks inside the pan. The second option is less desirable since the bricks will then be sitting in any fluid that drains, making them harder to clean up later. Plus, with the bin sitting on the bricks, it will make the tray difficult to remove if you want to add the drippings to a watering can to feed your plants.

Step 6

Fill up your compost bin with the following items: shredded paper, broken twigs, coffee grounds, tea bags, dried leaves, grass clippings, dryer lint, vegetable and fruit scraps, water, and red worms. Finish the materials-layering process with wet materials to provide immediate food for your worms and moisture to soak down into the dry ingredients.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not add meat or dairy products to your compost bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bin with tight-fitting lid
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Large, flat pan
  • Four bricks
  • Composting items


  • Worm Composting: City
  • Worm Composting Bin: Missouri Department of Natural Resources
  • Composting With Red Worms: Wisconsin State University

Who Can Help

  • Vermicomposting Supplies
  • Worm Composting: University of Arkansas
  • Worm Composting: Metro Oregon Government
Keywords: building a worm composter, build a red worm compost bin, build a compost bin for worms

About this Author

Robin Lewis is a freelance artist, designer and writer. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, national magazines and on several self-help areas of the Web. Lewis specializes in gardening articles, publishing frequently on a variety of websites.