Introduction: Simple, Cheap Compost Bin!

Picture of Simple, Cheap Compost Bin!

I made this compost bin after being frustrated by all the $100 models out there.  I needed the compost contained to keep it away from my dogs(and other critters) but I couldn't afford the price tag of the nice ones.  So I made my own.

What you'll need

A closeable container, I purchased this one at Costco for $15. 
Dremel Tool or Hand Saw
Liquid Nails
Screen
A hoe or something to toss your compost
A container to transport your scraps in(optional)




Step 1: Cut Holes and Screen Them Up

Picture of Cut Holes and Screen Them Up

Cut as many holes in the bin as you like but generally the more the better.  Air is important factor in a bin, it keeps the bugs away and helps aerate the bin so you'll do less work.  Plus it'll smell less.  After you've cut your holes screen them in using the liquid nails.  I used two sheets of screen for the holes on the side to ensure the compost wouldn't press its way out.  

For placement, I've found that a little sun is ideal for my compost, it doesn't dry out being in a very humid climate, but the heat of the sun helps break things down. If you find your bin is drying out, put a tarp over the top or place in the shade. Dry materials won't break down as fast.

Step 2: Now Add Scraps!

Picture of Now Add Scraps!

Now you get to add stuff to your bin!
Fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, filters, eggs shells(ground up), newspaper, grass clipping and any other plant material. 

Do not put:
Meat, eggs, fish, dairy products or manure except those from herbivores.

Use the hoe to regularly rotate the compost and in a few months you'll have great soil to use in your garden.

Comments

ZiadZ (author)2015-06-17

Thank you for the really easy,direct cheap way of doing a compost bin ( iliked the idea of screen instead of drilling small holes only) i have two question as i am new for composting:

1- what about the bottom of the container ( should it be a gap like with no bottom as we put the container in sand or we keeop the container as a whole with a bottom with holes and screens?

2- till now i ddnt do a compost bin however i do have food that needed to be thrown so for how long the food that i wanted to throw can wait until the compost bin is ready??should the food (fruits vegetables) i want to throw be "fresh" or is it ok if it was 1 to 2 weeks old?

thank you in advance.

vgavrich (author)2011-07-26

Great advice and way to keep waste out of the landfill Atombomb1945!
I'm glad you brought up the benefits of coffee grounds! Grounds provide good amounts of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper and they release large amounts of nitrogen as they break down. My blueberries love it when I add coffee grounds into the soil and I hear, although I haven't tried it, that grass loves it when you put a thin layer down before the first snow fall of the season. I am going to try it this year for the first time.

Composting is a great activity for kids and it teaches them so much about science and the environment!

atombomb1945 (author)2011-07-26

I have an open top container I did in a similar fashion and I have been dumping primarily coffee grounds in it for the last two years. Mixing in a little dirt from time to time actually accelerates the process and (I think) makes a better compost.

I figure to date I have saved about seven cubic feet of landfill space and I use the resulting mix to fill in holes in the yard and it makes a great potting soil.

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