How to Start a Metro Compost Bin

Overview

Composting is the organic way to fertilize gardens and eliminate kitchen waste. Even people who live in apartments and townhomes can compost, just on a smaller scale. You can learn how to start a metro compost bin and enjoy the fun and benefits composting brings, even if you're living in a small space in a big city. All you need are a couple of containers. Your plants will thrive with the rich compost you create in your metro composting bin.

Step 1

Drill 15 to 20 holes in the bottom of the plastic containers with a drill and 1/8-inch drill bit. Also drill four holes on each side of the containers 2 inches from the bottom.

Step 2

Set the aluminum tray on the floor or ground where you want the compost bin. Place a yard brick inside the aluminum tray at each corner. Set the plastic compost bin on top of the yard bricks.

Step 3

Lay shredded newspaper, straw, dry leaves and other organic dry material in the bottom of the bin. Obtain a layer of 2 inches of dry material to begin with.

Step 4

Pour organic topsoil over the dry bedding material. Cover the dry bedding material with 4 inches of topsoil. Wet the soil thoroughly with water. If you are vermicomposting, now is the time to add the worms. You do not need more than 1 pound of worms per container.

Step 5

Place a thin layer of shredded compost on top of the soil mixture and wet the compost down with water. Place the lid on the container to close the compost bin.

Step 6

Add organic kitchen scraps to the compost. Cut the organic waste as small as possible to reduce the breakdown time of the materials. Do not add animal products of any kind in the compost. Only add organic waste.

Step 7

Keep the compost moist by watering it as needed. The soil should be moist as a wrung-out sponge. Turn the compost weekly to keep the microbes working in the soil with the worms.

Step 8

Add more dry material like newspaper or leaves if the compost starts to emit an odor. A well-balanced compost will emit very little odor if any at all.

Step 9

Set the other compost bin next to the first one. Prepare the second bin just as the first was prepared after the first bin is ¾ full. Use the soil in the first bin for your houseplants and container vegetables.

Step 10

Lift up the compost containers off of the yard bricks when the water level is halfway up the aluminum tray sides. Pour the water from the aluminum trays into a container. Use the water from the tray to water your houseplants. The compost water, or worm tea if vermicomposting, is rich in nutrients for your plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never add meat or meat by-products to compost. This material will only spoil and create a very unpleasant smell.

Things You'll Need

  • (2) large Rubbermaid containers with lids
  • (2) high sided aluminum baking sheets larger than the bottom of the containers.
  • (8) small yard bricks
  • Drill with 1/8-inch drill bit
  • (1) bag organic topsoil
  • Dry compost material
  • Worms

References

  • Vegweb.com - What To Compost
  • Planetgreen.Discovery.com - Apartment Composting
Keywords: metro composting, make a compost bin, small compost bins

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. Ken has written over 350 Home Improvement articles for Demand Studios. He has also been published by The American Chronicle. Kenneth holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Commonwealth College in Richmond, Va.