Compost Bins | How To Make Your Own Compost Pile

Compost Bins – what exactly are they?  In basic terms, compost is decomposed plant and waste materials that are gathered and broken down to be used as a fertilizer in your garden.  Indoor and outdoor waste materials are piled up and turned for a about one year before the compost is “ready” to use.  Worms help the material break down even further.

With so many of us moving to more organic gardening techniques, having compost bins is a must.  You can simply choose a square in your yard to start your compost pile, but to keep it tidy and not an eyesoar, your best bet is to contain your compost in some sort of compost bins.

There are commercial compost bins that you can purchase, but it is just as easy (and less expensive!) to simply make your own!

What can be added to your compost bins:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Coffee ground and filters
  • Nut shells
  • Egg shells
  • Shredded newspapers
  • Grass clipping
  • Leaves
  • Fireplace ashes

Check out the EPA’s Website for a full list of what you can use in your compost bins and more importantly, what you don’t want to add.

Make Your Own Compost Bins

What you need:

  • Large trash can with lid that is attached
  • Drill with large bit
  • Screws
  • Platform to attach to the bottom like a wooden crate.  This is used to raise the trash can off the ground and provide drainage, so you want it to keep the bin stable


  • Drill 5 holes in the lid
  • Drill 5 holes bottom
  • Drill holes along the sides of your trash can
  • You will probably drill a total of about 25 holes
  • Attach your platform to the bottom of the trash can, being careful not to cover the holes you have already drilled.
  • Start collecting items and placing them in your compost bins
  • Every 2-3 days, you will want to “turn” the compost.  You can do this a couple of different ways:
    • Use a shovel or pitch fork
    • Lay the trash can on its side and roll it for a few minutes

After several months of collecting and turning the items in your compost bins, you will start to see a rich, dark soil form and you can start using it.

If you don’t see worms within the soil, you might think about digging some up from another place in your yard and putting them in the compost bins.  They help with the breakdown of the materials.

As you can see, it isn’t that difficult to build compost bins and they will provide the best soil you can imagine!

For more tips, please visit the Lawn and Garden section of our website!

Do you have any ideas for Compost Bins?

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