How to Make Your Own Rotating Compost Bin


A rotating compost bin is a closed bin supported by elevated frames that is turned by a handle on the outside so the contents are mixed thoroughly. It is filled with alternating layers of green and brown waste to create a rich organic material over time that improves the quality of garden or container soil. It also reduces and puts to better use household scrap that normally ends up in landfills.

Step 1

Purchase a 30-gallon plastic garbage bin or trashcan that has a tight-fitting lid. Select a shady place in your backyard or garden that you can access easily year-round without worrying about odor.

Step 2

Drill ½-inch holes over the body of the bin, spaced 4 inches apart, including the lid and base. These will aerate the contents of the barrel and allow worms to enter and speed up the decomposition process.

Step 3

Use a sharp pointed knife or hacksaw to cut a large rectangular opening in the center of the bin. Make sure the piece is large enough to push a shovel through and fill with waste or take compost out from. Push the cut piece out completely and keep it aside.

Step 4

Check the hasp and hinges to determine how many holes are needed in the cut rectangular piece and the barrel itself to attach the two together. Drill the appropriate holes and connect the hinges at the top of the barrel with galvanized nuts and bolts, and the hasp at the bottom. Pass the leather cord through the hasp and tie a loose knot to prevent the door of the compost bin from opening.

Step 5

Mark the exact center on the base and lid with a measuring tape. Cut or drill a hole of 1 inch diameter on each mark. Insert the galvanized metal pipe through one hole and extend it through the other. This pipe will support the weight of the bin on the frame. Drill a 1/2-inch hole on one side of the pole near its end and insert the 1-foot-long metal rebar pin into it; this will serve as a handle for turning the bin.

Step 6

Saw the two 8-foot-long boards in the center to get four 4-foot-long boards. Lay two boards in an X-shape and nail them together in the center to make a stand for one side. Repeat the process with the other two boards.

Step 7

Carefully measure and dig holes into the ground and stand the frames into them. Back fill with dirt around them and tamp it down so the boards are installed firmly in the ground. Place the pole that passes through the bin over both the X-shaped frames so they support it.

Step 8

Unwind the leather cord to fill the bin with alternating layers of "green" and "brown" scrap. Greens include leaves, grass clippings andvegetable scraps, while browns include coffee filters, torn paper and cardboard and wood. Wet the contents to a moist consistency and tie a bungee cord through the length of the bin to prevent the lid from opening.

Things You'll Need

  • 30-gallon plastic garbage bin
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Eye protection
  • Earplugs
  • Sharp knife
  • Small-sized hinges and hasp
  • Galvanized nuts and bolts
  • Leather cord, 5 inches long
  • Galvanized metal pole, 1 inch diameter
  • 1/2-inch metal rebar, 1 foot long
  • Two 2-by-4 inch boards, 8 feet long
  • Saw
  • Wood screws
  • Bungee cord


  • Making a Barrel Compostor
  • Building a Turning Compost Bin
  • Composting Information
Keywords: compost bin construction, rotating bin, green and brown waster

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.