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How to Build a Cement Block Compost Bin

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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


Things You Will Need

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


  • Choose a location for your garden that is level and receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. Exposure to sun and heat helps your organic compost materials to decompose more quickly.
  • You should also construct your compost bin on soil instead of concrete or asphalt so that any moisture from your decomposing material will drain into the ground and return nutrients to the soil.

About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.