How to Build a Wood Compost Bin


Composting is the process of decomposing kitchen and garden scraps to create compost, an organic matter packed with nutrients for garden and container soil. This old method of recycling household waste reduces waste that would end up in landfills. Red worms help decompose organic matter sooner, resulting in dark, crumbly, sweet-smelling compost.

Step 1

Place the plywood sheet widthwise on level ground. Measure and mark the middle with a pen and use a circular saw to cut it into two equal pieces. Set aside half of the plywood. Mark three equal lines on the other half using a measuring tape and pen. Two of these three cut boards will be used as the front and back of the wooden bin. Cut the third piece into two equal pieces with a circular saw for the sides of the bin.

Step 2

Measure and mark the other 48-by-48-inch half that was set aside into two equal pieces. One of these will be used as the lid of the wooden bin and the other as the base.

Step 3

Cut one of the 8-foot long 2-by-2 in the middle so you have two 48-inch long pieces. Measure and mark three 20-inch pieces on the other 8-foot length of 2-by-2 with a pen and cut over the marks with a circular saw. Put one of the 20-inch pieces aside. Drill galvanized wood screws into the other four cut pieces to secure the edges of the base. Once secured, position the 20-inch piece in the center and drill it in place so that it can support the base.

Step 4

Drill 10 to 12 3/8-inch holes in the base.

Step 5

Measure and cut two 14-inch pieces from the 2-by-4s, and another two 14-inch pieces from the remaining length of 2-by-2, to form corner blocks for the sides. Hold the two lengths of 2-by-2s against the top edge of the front piece and drill into place. Similarly, hold and drill both lengths of 2-by-4s against the backside.

Step 6

Hold the front piece of the bin and attach one of the sides to it with wood screws. Then attach the backside to the structure, finishing it with the other side. The bin will resemble a box without a base or lid. Attach hinges to the corner blocks of the backside.

Step 7

Turn the structure upside down to attach the base to the edges of the corner blocks with galvanized wood screws.

Step 8

Measure, mark and cut two 51-inch pieces and two 18-inch pieces on the 2-by-4 lumber. Place them on the ground to form a rectangle, and attach the plywood sheet over them with wood screws. This will be the lid for the bin. Place the lid over the structure, extend the hinges to the back of the back edge, and drill into place.

Things You'll Need

  • One 4-by-8-foot plywood sheet
  • Pen
  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw
  • Two 8-foot long 2-by-2s
  • Two 8-foot long 2-by-4s
  • Protective glasses
  • Galvanized wood screws
  • Drilling machine
  • Hinges


  • University of Missouri Extension: How to Build a Wood Compost Bin
  • Composting Information
Keywords: wood compost bin, worm composting, wooden compost bin

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.