Making an Easy Compost Bin


Composting decomposes kitchen and yard scrap into a dark, crumbly organic matter for the soil that is packed with essential nutrients. This method of recycling household waste reduces the trash in landfills. With more people turning toward green living, many homeowners are considering building their own compost bins and placing them in their gardens. There are many ways of making homemade compost heaps and piles, including using wooden or wire units or plastic bins. With the right tools, you can begin making homemade compost today.

Making an Easy Compost Bin

Step 1

Purchase a 20- to 55-gallon heavyweight plastic trash bin from your local home store, or use a spare one from home. Make sure it has a tight fitting lid. If reusing an old trash can, scrub it thoroughly using a sponge and hot soapy water to remove any residue.

Step 2

Drill ½-inch holes, spaced 4 to 6 inches apart, throughout the body of the bin, including the lid and base. These holes will aerate the waste and allow necessary mini beasts to enter and speed up the decomposition process. Make sure the holes are no smaller than 1/8 inch, and no bigger than ½ inch.

Step 3

Select a shaded area in your garden or yard that is close to your kitchen so you can fill the compost bin with waste even during inclement weather. The selected area must have well-drained soil and be close to a water source. Outline an area for your compost bin by laying bricks or cinder blocks on the ground in a rectangle. This bed will house your compost bin when you are not rolling it across your yard or garden.

Step 4

Fill the bin with alternating layers of "green" and "brown" waste. Greens waste include leaf and grass clippings, manure and food peels and kitchen scraps. Brown waste include coffee filters, wood, stems or branches, brown paper and cardboard and wood chips. Make each layer 4 inches thick and stop filling the bin 5 inches below the rim of the bin.

Step 5

Wet the contents of the bin with a hose until they are evenly moist. The waste should drain out several drops of water when squeezed. If you water too much, add wood chips to the bin to absorb the excess water.

Step 6

Replace the lid and push it tight so it sets in place. Lay the bin flat on the ground and roll it across the yard so the contents mix thoroughly. Push it to its designated place, remove the front row of bricks and fit it inside its bed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never allow the contents of the bin to dry out, as this will slow down the decomposition process. Do not compost diapers, dairy or pet litter.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic bin
  • Sponge
  • Protective eyewear
  • Earplugs
  • Drill
  • Bricks
  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Kitchen and garden scraps
  • Garden hose


  • How to Make Compost
  • Compost Information
Keywords: home composting, compost bin, green waste

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.