How to Make a Tumbler Compost Bin


Do-it-yourself tumbling compost bins range in size and complexity from small and easy to large and complicated. Most things you put down your garbage disposal or in your garbage can can be composted. Luckily, there's just as wide a range of tumbling compost plans as there are composting materials. The simplest tumbling bins may cost you nothing at all, as you may already have everything you need to build them in your house.

Step 1

Select a large garbage can, 11 gallons or larger, to serve as the compost bin. Use an extra bin you already own, or purchase one at a local hardware or home supply store.

Step 2

Poke or drill holes no larger than 5 mm in the bottom and sides of the garbage can. Resist the temptation to make larger holes, as they may allow pests to infiltrate your compost. The holes allow water to escape and allow insects to travel freely between your compost and the backyard. Use a drill or hammer and nail to punch the holes in the trash can. Do not poke holes in the garbage can's lid, nor anywhere near the top of the garbage can where the lid locks on to the can.

Step 3

Test your new tumbling compost bin. Toss kitchen and household waste that you wish to compost into the bin, add yard waste and sprinkle with water. Lock the lid on tight, then turn the bin on its side and roll.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic garbage can with locking lid
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Nail


  • Build a Tumbling Composters with Catie
  • Compost Tumbler Plans

Who Can Help

  • EPA Guide to Composting
Keywords: compost bin, compost tumbler, trash can

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.