9 Easy Ways To Build A Compost Bin

Compost Bin picture showing trench composting, barrel composting, pallet compost bin and wire compost bin

A compost bin offers a simple solution for turning waste from your kitchen, yard, and garden into healthy, nutritious, living soil. Living soil is filled with a robust, diverse communities of beneficial microbes. These microbes are responsible for the nutrient uptake of plants and as well they also build relationships with many different fungi which then also allows for feeding from the bottom up.

To speed up the composting you may want to consider adding beneficial microbes when building your compost pile.

Single Wooden Compost Bin

Choose a 3’X 3′ square site for your compost bin. Use a sledgehammer to pound the four posts (2X4) into the ground three feet apart, at the corners of the square. Nail 1X6 wood to the posts, leaving two inches between boards.

One side can be left open to allow for any easy access if you wish. A second unit would allow the compost to mature in one box while you add materials to the first box.


Wooden Pallet Compost Bin

One easy way to build a simple and effective compost bin is to use four wooden shipping pallets and tie them together. Many retail outlets will allow you to reclaim the discarded pallets for use at home. After placing the four pallets upright to form your square bin, tie the four corners with rope, wire or chain. You can sew a fifth as a floor inside your bin to increase airflow and stability.


Compost Pile

No construction necessary. Find a sheltered spot in your backyard to begin your pile. That’s it! Just keep in mind that items such as paper towels and napkins can blow around without a containment unit.


Snow Fence Compost Bin

Wood or plastic snow fence (or chicken wire) can be used to make a composter that is cheap and very easy to set up. If you want to turn the pile, you can remove the fence, set it up beside the first pile, and turn the compost into the newly set up bin. Simply make a circle out of the fence and tie it with metal wire to a couple of posts.


Wire-Mesh or Hardware Cloth Compost Bin

Tie 3-4 ft of hardware cloth into a circle and attach the ends with wire ties using pilers. Space wood of metal posts around the inside, hold tight against the wire and pound them firmly into the ground to provide support.


Cement Block Compost Bin

Cement blocks or bricks may be used to build a composter. It is easy to set up and can be constructed with two sections to facilitate the turning of the pile from one section to the next.


Drum/Can Compost Bin

A plastic or metal drum may be used as a composter. It requires very little space in your backyard and is cheap and easy to set up.

Remove the bottom of the can and puncture holes throughout. You may want to raise the can off the ground for additional ventilation.


Rotating Barrel Composter

If your composting operation is small and you neither relish nor have the time for turning materials, then you’ll find this composter suited to your needs. The barrel is rotated several times whenever new materials are added. It is constructed with a minimum of hand-powered tools and is not difficult or time-consuming to build. It will cost about $60 to building providing you use a second-hand barrel.


Wood-and-Wire Three-Bin Turning Compost Bin

A wood-and-wire three-bin turning unit can be used to compost large amounts of yard, garden and kitchen wastes in a short time. Although relatively expensive to build, it is sturdy, attractive and should last a long time. Construction requires basic carpentry skills and tools. With optional lids and bottom, this unit can be made rodent-resistant.