Monday, April 2, 2012

Easy DIY Compost Bin

I have composted for many years, but I admit that I haven't paid attention to my compost like I should. Sometimes I've had good compost that I could put in my garden and sometimes I've just had sludge.

At our old house, I had an actual compost bin that my dad built for me out of steel. It was huge and heavy enough that we couldn't bring it with us when we moved. Living at our new house without a compost bin, I'd been just piling the kitchen scraps in our yard somewhere out of the way.  The piles I'd created this winter are not looking much like compost--just piles of garbage that stray dogs have picked through. Yuck.

When my friend came to visit recently she offered to help me build an easy breezy compost bin. She said all I needed was a large container with a lid and a drill. I was excited to finally have a real compost bin so I got started by following her directions:

Step 1. Get a container

If you are buying a new one, you should make sure it is BPA free. (For mine, I used one we already had.)

Step 2. Drill holes all over it, but not in the lid.

A rare look at me in action.

I started the project only to realize I didn't have a drill bit! (My husband had loaned his good drill and all his drill bits to a friend.) I improvised by using a finishing nail in my drill to make the holes. It worked great!

Drilling holes in the side

Step 3. Add kitchen scraps.

I added kitchen scraps plus some hand-shredded newspaper
My friend says she had a bin like this for years and it made excellent compost. She said that she simply put kitchen scraps in and then added either shredded paper or water, depending on whether the mix was too wet or too dry. She kept a shovel next to it and stirred it about twice a week.

I set mine right outside my back door with the shovel on top. I'm pretty excited that I won't have to carry my kitchen scraps very far now to empty them! I wish I had done this sooner.

This doesn't have all the holes drilled in it yet, but you get the idea. :)

Do you compost? What do you put your scraps in? Did you make it yourself?

I'm linking up to the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop


  1. I can't imagine buying something for compost. I use bins made from free pallets. Originally I used one bin, but expanse to 2, then 3 bins. And I mix in enough dirt to cover the veg scraps. The dirt & veg matter enrich each other.

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