How to Build a Garbage Can Compost Bin


Composting is an easy way to save money and recycle your yard and kitchen waste. You do not need to invest in a fancy compost bin or build anything complicated. You can make your own compost bin using a plain and simple garbage can.

Step 1

Obtain a garbage can with a locking lid. If you do not have a locking lid, you can use a bungee cord to secure the garbage can's lid.

Step 2

Use a drill and large drill bit to drill several holes into the garbage can. Drill holes in the lid as well as in the garbage can's bottom. Drill at least three rows of holes along the garbage can's sides. Space them about 4 inches apart. Place the garbage can on top of bricks or a wooden platform. The platform will assist in draining excess moisture from the can as well as saving the grass underneath the can.

Step 3

Mix waste such as cut grass, wood chips, fallen leaves, straw and shredded newspaper with kitchen waste. Do not use dairy or meat waste due to the odor they create. Add your kitchen waste as you produce it. Take your composting garbage can off of its platform and roll it around the yard for several minutes at least once a week to mix the compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Bungee cord
  • Drill
  • Large drill bit
  • Bricks or wooden platform


  • University of Kentucky: "Constructing a Garbage Can Compost Bin"
  • "To Build a Trash Can Compost Bin"
  • "Compost Tumbler From a Garbage Can"

Who Can Help

  • "Composting Bins: Benefits, Rules, & How to Make Your Own"
Keywords: build a compost bin, garbage can compost bin, tumbling compost bin

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.