How to Make a Compost Bin From a Garbage Can

Views: 15153 | Last Update: 2009-05-02
Making a compost bin from a garbage can is a simple process that requires air flow in the trash and can be accomplished by drilling holes in the trash can's sides. Creat a compost bin from a trash can and use it for feeding soil with tips from a... View Video Transcript

About this Author

Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen from, and next we're going to talk about how to make a compost bin out of a garbage can. Now, not all of us have a lot of room where we can set aside a large area for our compost area. A lot of us live in smaller lots, and we still want to compost. A garbage can will work really well as a composter, as well. But there's a few things that you should do with it. So first of all, I wait until they're on sale, and look around, and you can find garbage cans for pretty reasonable price. But you've gotta make sure that there's air. Because right now, there's absolutely no air going through. The first thing you want to do is take your electric drill and drill some holes. So you make sure that you've got holes all over your garbage can. You can also take a hammer and a nail, and put holes in it as well. But you go all the way around, on the bottom and the sides of the garbage can and drill some holes. Okay, so once you've got a lot of holes, your garbage can can be used as a composter. And it's so simple! So I've holes in the bottom, I've got holes on the sides, so that air can get through. So, I've already been dead-heading all of my plants, so whether it's grass clippings or leaves, I'm throwing 'em in there. I'm throwing all the pieces that I've put in there from cutting off all the dead plants. Some more leaves, some more dirt, and I just keep adding it to it. Now the key with I've found with composting, is, the dried material together's not going to do a whole lot. It'll just dry and you'll just have dry material. So you've actually gotta add water, or add some wet soil, or you can even add wet newspapers. And the key is to have a mix of brown and green and dried materials. So if you've grass clippings, you should have leaf clippings. If you've got dead leaves from your garden, you can...should have some grass or some real wet material in there. And you mix it all up. And so, periodically, too, put this on the...away from everything else, and you just shake it up. So just by shaking up the material inside, too, you're giving it some air. And the air is really needed for items to compost. You can put your apples, you can put your tomatoes or your lettuce or anything else that comes out of your house, that's not meat or cheese, and just vegetables or fruit in there as well. And I like to cut 'em up into smaller pieces, and they will eventually break into compost, as well. So it could take up to six months for this to break down in to good soil. But I keep saving it. Eventually, I start new flower beds that way. So as soon as this is all broken down, I'll put it on top of an area that's...doesn't have a flower bed now, and eventually I can start a new flower bed with my own compost. It's as easy as that.