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How to Build a Compost Bin Out of Cement Blocks

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Composting turns yard waste, such as leaves and grass clippings into a healthy soil addition for your garden. There are many composting systems on the market, but they are unnecessary. You can build your own compost bin in an afternoon using inexpensive materials available at a home improvement store. Concrete blocks make a durable compost bin and are an inexpensive material. Use 8-inch-wide concrete blocks that have the two holes in them as these are cheap, readily available and they provide good air circulation, which aids the composting process.

Choose a level area for your compost bin and remove any debris or large rocks from the ground.

Lay four blocks end to end with the holes facing up to make the first side. Leave a half inch between each block.

Lay three blocks end to end at a right angle to the first wall to make the back of the bin. Leave a half inch between these blocks.

Lay another row of four blocks at an angle to the back, parallel to the first wall. This is the base of the structure and should resemble a U when complete.

Lay a second row of blocks on top the first, off-setting them slightly for added stability. Lay a total of four layers of blocks to finish the bin.

Place a metal rod or length of rebar through the holes in the cement blocks at the end of each row of blocks in the compost structure. Drive them into the ground with a mallet. This stabilizes the structure so it isn't knocked over.

Access the pile for loading, turning and removal through the front opening.

Cover with a tarp during heavy rainstorms or if animals are disturbing the pile.


Things You Will Need

  • Cement blocks
  • Metal posts
  • Mallet
  • Tarp


  • Make a two- or three-bin holding unit by repeating this method. Have each additional bin share one wall with the bin next to it.
  • Bricks can also be used but will require mortar as there are no holes available for support bars.


  • If the ground isn't level, the structure will not be secure and may fall over, causing injury or property damage.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. 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.