How to Build a Tumbling Compost Bin


Compost provides necessary nutrients and aeration to poor, compacted soil. Recharging your garden with compost after rotating planting sites ensures a healthy harvest. Tumbling helps your compost heap maintain an even temperature and break down organic matter faster. Tumbling bins are also neater than piles.

Step 1

Dig two side-by-side holes 2 feet deep, about 4 feet apart.

Step 2

Place a piece of 6-foot-long PVC pipe in each hole. Backfill the hole with small, sharp-sided gravel.

Step 3

Hang a plumb bob from a spirit level to make sure the pole is level and plumb.

Step 4

Mix the concrete mix with water according to the manufacturer's instructions in a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Fill the holes with concrete and allow the concrete to dry for 3 to 4 days.

Step 5

Attach a reducing PVC slide connector to the top of each PVC pipe using PVC cement.

Step 6

Drill a 1/2-inch-diameter hole in each end of your 30-gallon plastic barrel and insert the steel rod through the holes.

Step 7

Place the rod ends through the slide connector rings.

Step 8

Add compost materials and spin the barrel every other day.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Two 2-inch-diameter PVC pipes, 6 feet long
  • Small, sharp-sided gravel
  • Plumb bob
  • Spirit level
  • Concrete mix
  • Water
  • 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • Two 2- to 3/4-inch-diameter reducing PVC slide connectors
  • PVC cement
  • Power drill
  • 1/2-inch-diameter drill bit
  • 30-gallon plastic barrel
  • 1/2-inch-diameter, 6-foot-long steel rod


  • Rotating Barrel Compost Bin Design; pp. 12-13

Who Can Help

  • Compost Recipes
Keywords: build tumbling compost bin, organic compost rotator, organic gardening tools

About this Author

Jane Smith received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University in 1995. "Giving Him the Blues," was published March 2008. She provided educational supports 11 years, served people with multiple challenges 26 years, rescued animals 5 years, designed and repaired household items 31 years and is currently an apprentice metalworker.