How to Build a Cement Block Compost Bin


Compost is one of the cornerstones of organic gardening. Amending the soil with compost allows you to eliminate both chemical fertilizers and pesticides from your garden by creating healthier plants. One of the simplest types of compost bin to build is a cement block bin. A cement block bin requires no carpentry skills and very little masonry work. If you can dig a trench and stack blocks, you can build a cement block compost bin.

Step 1

Dig a trench that is 4 inches deep and 2 inches wider than your concrete blocks for your block foundation. Pour sand into the trench to a depth of 2 inches.

Step 2

Tamp the sand down with a tamping tool. Ensure that the sand is level with a carpenter's tool.

Step 3

Lay in your first course of blocks, leaving a 3-inch space between each block for air to pass through. Ensure that the blocks are level by measuring with the carpenter's tool.

Step 4

Stagger your second course of concrete blocks so that the spaces between the blocks on the second course align with the middle of the blocks on the first course. Interlock the corners of your bin for a sturdier structure. Continue to check the level to make sure that all blocks on your second row are even.

Step 5

Lay in two more courses so that your bin is four courses high.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Course building sand
  • Tamping tool
  • Carpenter's level
  • 48 concrete blocks


  • Organic Gardening Magazine: Compost Questions
  • University of Illinois Exension Website: Building your Compost Pile
  • University of Minnesota Website: Structures for Backyard Composting

Who Can Help

  • Soil and Hazardous Waste Education Center PDF: Concrete-Block Compost Bin(s)
Keywords: concrete blocks, compost bin, organic gardening

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.