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The Best Homemade Compost Bins

By Em Connell McCarty ; Updated September 21, 2017

For the best compost bin, what goes into it is more important than what the bin looks like. Compost happens very efficiently on its own as long as you have a source of nitrogen (kitchen waste, grass clippings, manure), a source of carbon (straw, dried leaves and grass, shredded newspaper), moisture and air. With these four elements you can create compost in a heap on the ground or in the most elaborate bin money can buy. If you are making your own bin, consider appearance, simplicity and efficiency for the best homemade compost bin.

Best Looking

If your compost bin will be visible to the neighborhood and you are concerned about appearances, build a nice looking bin. Using recycled or new, untreated lumber you can build a box-like bin for your compost. Old pallets, snow fencing and chicken wire can all be recycled to make an attractive bin. Build a four-sided wooden structure--or a wood frame with wire sides structure--with one side hinged for easy access. You may choose to build a lid for it as well, but the bottom can be left open. Alternately, build a three-bin system with wood and wire for faster composting.

Easiest To Make

For a quick and easy compost bin, drill holes in the sides and bottom of a large trash can with a fitted lid. This can even be a tumbling compost bin if your lid is secured. A wire mesh compost bin made by fastening wire mesh together into a cylinder shape will also serve as a quick compost bin. Though it may take longer, building a three-sided wall with concrete blocks is an easy way to create a compost bin.

Best Compost

Worm bins, or vermicomposting bins, make the best compost in the shortest time. A worm bin can be a small tub that fits under your kitchen sink, a tasteful wooden bench on your patio or an elaborate set up in your barn. Depending on how much compost you want to make (or how much waste you generate), build a worm bin that will house the number of worms you need.