How to Make a Plastic Compost Bin


Composting allows you to turn your yard and garden waste into a soil amendment instead of it being hauled to the dump. As your yard waste decomposes, it turns into a soil-like substance that is rich in the organic nutrients that plants need to grow. A compost bin helps contain these substances while they are becoming compost. If you have minimal space to compost creating a plastic composting bin for indoor or outdoor storage allows you to compost while keeping the size of the pile under control.

Step 1

Choose a heavy duty plastic storage tub that is at least 3 feet long and 2 or more feet wide. Deep bins are preferable to shallow bins.

Step 2

Turn the bin upside down and drill ½ inch holes 2 inches apart in three rows down the length of the bin. Drill two more rows of holes spaced 2 inches apart around the sides of the bin. This provides necessary aeration to the contents of the bin.

Step 3

Turn the lid upside down and place on the ground to act as a drip tray. Set two bricks in the tray spacing them equally apart. Set the compost bin on top of the bricks. Liquid draining from the compost will be caught in the tray.

Step 4

Place 1 inch layer of straw on the bottom of the bin to aid drainage. Fill the bin 2/3 full of carbon-rich materials such as dead leaves and dried grasses. Fill the rest of the bin with nitrogen-rich materials such as grass clippings and green plant matter.

Step 5

Sprinkle a shovel-full of finished compost, garden soil or a purchased compost starter on top the bin. Sprinkle water on top the compost materials until it is barely damp. Mix all the materials except for the straw together to combine.

Step 6

Place a length of window screening over the top of the bin and hold in place with bungee cords or binder clips. Alternately, poke holes in landscaping cloth and place this over the bin.

Step 7

Mix the contents in the bin every two to four weeks to encourage even composting. The compost is ready to use once all the material has broken down into a rich brown, earthy smelling, soil-like mixture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not compost meat or dairy items as these will smell and compost slowly.

Things You'll Need

  • Storage bin and lid
  • Drill
  • Bricks
  • Straw
  • Yard waste
  • Compost starter
  • Window screening
  • Bungee cords


  • University of Rhode Island: Compost
Keywords: plastic tub composter, homemade compost bin, soil amendment

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.