How to Make Your Own Composting Bin


Cut down on the amount of stuff you throw in the garbage and do something healthy for your garden by starting your own compost bin. Making your own composting bin takes very little effort. All you need is a plastic bin or trash can, a drill and material such as vegetable scraps and dried leaves to compost. Organic matter will break down and provide you with compost for your garden as long as you keep the contents of the bin balanced.

Step 1

Drill several 1/2 inch holes on the bottom of the bin and 6 inches up its sides. When in doubt, drilling more holes is better than drilling too few, as you want there to be plenty of air flow in the compost bin. Drill several holes into the lid of the bin as well.

Step 2

Place the empty bin on the tray, or directly onto soil if you have a large enough garden plot. You want worms, slugs and earwigs to be able to get into your compost. You also want the liquid from the compost to have a place to go, instead of collecting on a concrete walkway. You can catch it in the tray and pour it over plants when they need a bit of wet fertilizer.

Step 3

Pile a 6 inch layer of “greens,” or wet and fresh compost material, such as scraps from your kitchen, fresh grass cuttings and used coffee grinds and tea bags into the bin.

Step 4

Put about 6 inches of “browns,” or dry compost material, such as brown leaves and shredded newspaper in the bottom of the bin. You need to keep the distribution of greens and browns as even as possible for your bin to work properly.

Step 5

Add about 2 Tbsp of compost activator. You can use an activator that you purchased or use a few Tbsp of finished compost.

Step 6

Mix the greens and browns to get air flowing through the compost and to help speed the decomposition process. Turn the pile with a shovel or pitchfork every time you add materials to it.


  • Do not compost dairy or meat scraps, cooked vegetables, diseased plants or weeds, pet waste or glossy paper. Some of those products will not break down, others will contaminate your compost.



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