Compost Bin Tips

Composting is a way to recycle your kitchen waste while saving money. Instead of buying bags of compost, you can save money and make compost from the stuff you would normally throw away. Therefore, you are benefiting yourself and the environment in a variety of ways. Whether you buy a compost bin or build your own, these tips will help you get the most from it.


Recycled materials are the best choice for building your compost bin. Wood pallets, chicken wire, concrete blocks and old garbage cans are all materials you can find around your yard or at dump sites. Wood pallets can build box-like bins. Chicken wire can build circular bins. Concrete blocks can easily be stacked to create a three-sided bin. Trash cans can be used as tumbling compost bins or buried in the ground as a compost bin. Make your compost bin bigger rather than smaller for more efficient composting.


To create compost in your compost bin, you need a mix of four elements. Nitrogen comes from green sources such as kitchen waste, freshly cut grass, coffee grounds and plant prunings. Carbon comes from brown sources such as dried autumn leaves, hay, straw and shredded newspaper. Water can keeps the compost moist (it should feel like a wrung-out mop). Air is needed as well, so you'll need a bin that allows ventilation. Tumbling composters turn your compost as they tumble, introducing more air into the mix. Otherwise, turning your compost with a pitchfork once a week will aerate your compost.

Odor Control

If your compost begins to smell, you can control odor by covering the compost with hay, straw or wood chips. Autumn leaves and cut grass also help contain the odor of your compost. When you turn your compost or add to the heap, there will be some odor. However, once you cover the compost with hay, straw or wood chips, the smell will fade.


If you do not have a movable compost bin, build your compost bin near your garden on a well-drained area of land. When you harvest your compost, you will have it right where you need it. With movable compost bins, allow them to sit in one spot for a season. The compost will fertilize the ground under the bin and leave you with a well-fed piece of land for planting a tree, flower bed or vegetables.

Keywords: compost bin tips, how to compost, maintaining a compost bin

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.