How to Construct a Compost Bin


One of the smartest gardening moves you can make is to maintain your own compost bin, but getting started often seems intimidating or too expensive. Fear not! Constructing a simple but effective home compost bin is an affordable weekend project.

Step 1

Purchase or otherwise procure 27 cinder blocks. 27 blocks will make a compost bin that is three blocks high with nine blocks per layer. Jeanne Grunert, an organic farmer and writer in Virginia, built a compost bin out of reclaimed, recycled cinder blocks.

Step 2

Clear a space, 4 feet by 4 feet, for the compost bin. Mow the grass short. Remove any weeds or other plants. If the ground is very uneven, till it all up and rake it out to a smoother, more level surface.

Step 3

Lay nine blocks down, placing them end to end so the holes face inside the compost bin. This will allow airflow. Create a three-sided square from these nine blocks: three blocks on each side, three blocks for the back wall, and the front left open.

Step 4

Build two more layers of nine blocks each following the same pattern.

Step 5

Leave the front of the compost bin open for easy access.

Things You'll Need

  • 27 cinder blocks
  • Tiller (optional)
  • Rake (optional)


  • "A Beginner's Guide to Composting;" Jeanne Grunert

Who Can Help

  • Reclaimed Cinder Blocks from Build It Green NYC
Keywords: building compost bin, homemade composting, thrifty composting

About this Author

Annie Mueller is a writer, editor, professional blogger, website designer, and tutor. She attended Missouri Baptist College and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Mississippi State University, with a Summa Cum Laude standing. She has written extensively on gardening, parenting, education, and personal growth for women.