How to Make Compost in Tires


Compost is a valuable asset in any garden. Made up of broken-down organic matter, compost is nutrient-rich and adds quality to the soil with which it is mixed. Turning your own yard and kitchen waste into compost allows you to make this asset for little to no cost. There are many options for building your own compost bin, but if you have some old tires lying around, you can quickly begin composting without the need to build a costly bin first.

Step 1

Choose a level area for the compost pile. An area out of direct sunlight and away from buildings is ideal.

Step 2

Set the first tire on the ground. Widen the opening on the side of the tire that is facing up by cutting away most of the tire sidewall with a hacksaw or power saw.

Step 3

Cut away the sidewall on both sides of two to three more tires, depending on how tall you want your compost bin to be. Stack these tires on top of the first one to form the compost bin.

Step 4

Fill the tire bin with two parts brown waste to one part green waste. Brown waste is carbon-rich and includes dead leaves, sawdust and straw. Green waste is nitrogen-rich and includes grass clippings and green plant parts. Both carbon and nitrogen are needed for composting.

Step 5

Place a shovel full of rich garden soil on top of the compost materials. Garden soil introduces the necessary microbes to the pile so composting begins. Mix all the materials together with a garden fork.

Step 6

Water the pile as needed so that it is moist but not soggy. Turn the pile once a week with the garden fork.

Step 7

Lift the tires off once the pile is ready to use, approximately two to six months after starting it. Finished compost is rich brown and soil-like. Restack the tires and begin a new compost pile while you use the finished compost in the garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • Heavy rain or snow may make the pile stop composting. Cover it with a tarp during heavy rains to avoid this. Do not compost meat or dairy products. These are slow to compost, attract pests and produce bad odor.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw or power saw
  • Yard waste
  • Garden soil
  • Shovel
  • Garden fork


  • Penn State Extension: How to Make Compost
Keywords: composting in tires, compost bins, tire compost bin

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.