How to Make a Composting Bin


Composting your organic waste is an easy and eco-friendly way to nurture your soil and save money on fertilizer. However, composting bins bought from stores can be very expensive and is usually the reason many gardeners shy away from the practice of composting. Luckily, you can make a low-cost bin for less than $20 that works just as well as the $200 bin bought from the store.

Step 1

Purchase an inexpensive, plastic garbage can from your local shopping or home design center. The size of the can depends on how much compost you will be making. The can should also come with a lid with lid locks. If you cannot find a lid with lid locks, buy a bungee cord as a substitute.

Step 2

Drill holes along the sides and bottom of the can using the 1/2-inch bit. Drill holes over the lid of the can as well. Drill as many holes as you want. Keep in mind that compost needs to be well-aerated. Typically, a total of 20 to 30 holes over the length and lid of the can is enough.

Step 3

Place the can on a wooden slat. These can be purchased from agricultural supply stores or you may be able to buy one from a local farmer or rancher. The slat need only be big enough to keep your bin off the ground. This way, excess moisture will drain through the compost and back out to the soil instead of being retained in the can.

Step 4

Secure the lid to the can with the lid locks or bungee cord. This ensures that no animals will come rummaging through your bin during the night.

Step 5

Turn the bin every two weeks by removing it from the slat, turning it on its side and rolling it through the yard. Turning the bin aerates the soil and helps quicken the decomposition process, getting your garden fertilized faster.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic garbage can with lid locks
  • Wooden slat
  • Electric drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit


  • Making Your Own Compost Bin
  • The Compost Bin
Keywords: compost bin, garbage can, inexpensive holding unit

About this Author

Lily Obeck is a copywriter based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She writes for print, online, outdoor and broadcast marketing, with expertise in health, education and lifestyle topics. Obeck holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas and works as a part-time children's library assistant.