How to Build a Compost Bin Out of Cement Blocks


Composting turns yard waste, such as leaves and grass clippings into a healthy soil addition for your garden. There are many composting systems on the market, but they are unnecessary. You can build your own compost bin in an afternoon using inexpensive materials available at a home improvement store. Concrete blocks make a durable compost bin and are an inexpensive material. Use 8-inch-wide concrete blocks that have the two holes in them as these are cheap, readily available and they provide good air circulation, which aids the composting process.

Step 1

Choose a level area for your compost bin and remove any debris or large rocks from the ground.

Step 2

Lay four blocks end to end with the holes facing up to make the first side. Leave a half inch between each block.

Step 3

Lay three blocks end to end at a right angle to the first wall to make the back of the bin. Leave a half inch between these blocks.

Step 4

Lay another row of four blocks at an angle to the back, parallel to the first wall. This is the base of the structure and should resemble a U when complete.

Step 5

Lay a second row of blocks on top the first, off-setting them slightly for added stability. Lay a total of four layers of blocks to finish the bin.

Step 6

Place a metal rod or length of rebar through the holes in the cement blocks at the end of each row of blocks in the compost structure. Drive them into the ground with a mallet. This stabilizes the structure so it isn't knocked over.

Step 7

Access the pile for loading, turning and removal through the front opening.

Step 8

Cover with a tarp during heavy rainstorms or if animals are disturbing the pile.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the ground isn't level, the structure will not be secure and may fall over, causing injury or property damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Cement blocks
  • Metal posts
  • Mallet
  • Tarp


  • University of Wisconsin Extension
Keywords: concrete compost bin, cement block compost bin, backyard composting

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.