How to Build an Inexpensive Compost Bin


Composting allows you to reuse your yard waste and turn it into a soil amendment instead of paying to send it to a landfill. While a compost heap can be built straight on the ground, a containing bin makes the pile neater and helps protect it from animals that may otherwise root around in it. There is no need to purchase an expensive composting system or waste a day building one. Create an inexpensive compost bin that only takes an afternoon to construct.

Step 1

Choose a level area that doesn't become overly wet or soggy for your compost pile. Measure out a 3-foot square area for the pile.

Step 2

Dig an 8-inch-deep hole at each corner of the square with a post-hole digger. Set a 5-foot-long wooden post into each hole then backfill the dirt in. Tamp it down well to hold the post upright.

Step 3

Wrap a 13-foot length of snow fence around the outside of the posts, overlapping the ends. Use wood or plastic slat-style fencing, or use a double layer of the plastic mesh snow fencing.

Step 4

Cut two 12-inch lengths of wire per post using wire snips. Wrap the wire through the fencing and around the post, twisting tightly to secure. Use two pieces of wire per post, spacing them 2 to 3 feet apart.

Step 5

Fill the bin from the top with yard waste and compost starter. Access the compost, either via the top, or by untwisting the wire securing the end of the fencing and opening it like a door.

Tips and Warnings

  • Twist the ends of the wire to the inside of the bin to avoid snagging clothing on the sharp ends.

Things You'll Need

  • Post-hole digger
  • Wooden posts
  • Snow fencing
  • Heavy wire
  • Wire snips


  • University of Missouri Extension: Building a Compost Bin
Keywords: compost bin, cheap composting container, snow fence compost bin

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.