How to Make Your Own Turnable Compost Bin


Compost, also known as black gold, is organic matter packed with essential nutrients that improve the quality of garden and container soil. Although it is easily available in nurseries and garden supply centers, compost can be made at home using kitchen and garden scraps. This scraps are piled in a corner of the yard and turned frequently with a pitchfork, or into an enclosed bin that is rolled across the yard so it mixes thoroughly.

Step 1

Purchase a 30- to 55-gallon plastic bin with a tight-fitting lid. Measure the length and width of the bin with measuring tape, and write it down on paper.

Step 2

Select a shaded spot in your yard for the bin. Make sure it is close to your kitchen, so you can fill it with scrap even in inclement weather. Using the measurements of the bin as a guide, lay a row of bricks or cinder blocks over the designated spot to form a tight rectangle.

Step 3

Mark a large rectangular box on a side of the bin through which a standard size shovel can easily fit. With a handsaw cut out the opening and place the cut piece aside. This opening will serve as the "door" through which you will shovel household and garden scraps.

Step 4

Use your drill to attach a pair of hinges to one side of the opening in the bin. Insert the cut piece over the opening and attach hinges with screws. Attach the hasp closure in the center of the side opposite the hinges and screw it in place. Pull a 10- to 12-inch leather cord through the closure and knot it.

Step 5

Drill ½-inch holes over the body of the bin, spaced 4 inches apart. These holes will help aerate the contents and allow worms, tiny insects and bugs to enter the bin, and excess water to drain out.

Step 6

Fill the bin with layers of green and brown kitchen and yard scraps. Greens include leaf and grass clippings and food scraps, and browns include shredded brown paper bags and cardboard, coffee filters and wood pieces. Wet the contents to a moist consistency. A handful of scraps, when squeezed, should drain out several drops of water. If you add too much water, place wood chips in your bin. Keep the contents of your bin moist at all times.

Step 7

Lay the bin flat in its brick rectangle. To turn it, simply remove the front layer of bricks and push it across your yard so that it rolls four to five complete rotations. Roll it back and replace the front row of bricks.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic bin
  • Measuring tape
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Bricks
  • Masking tape
  • Handsaw
  • Drilling machine
  • Screws
  • Hinges, 2
  • Hasp closure
  • Leather cord, 10 inches
  • Kitchen and yard scraps
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose


  • How to Build a Compost Bin
  • Composting Information
  • Home Composting
Keywords: compost bin, turnable compost bin, home composting

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.