Free Composter for Beginners




Introduction: Free Composter for Beginners

About: Saving the world..... without a cape.

This project was entirely made of discarded items.   My only expense was the gorilla glue used.

Step 1:

First you will have to salvage the following from the curb or recycling center.

1. A 5 gallon bucket with lid
2. Nylon screen from discarded window or door
3. Black spray paint
4. A short piece of 2x2 wood
5. An old fashioned steel clothes hanger

Tools you will need are

1. A drill
2. Hacksaw or jigsaw
3. Philips screwdriver
4. Side cutters
5. A couple short sheet rock screws
6. Sand paper or wire brush for drill
7. Gorilla glue
8. Wood saw

Step 2:

First you start with the 5 gallon bucket.   Make sure the lid will stay on.

Step 3:

To prepare to cut out top and bottom of bucket drill holes into the 4 corners of area to be cut out.  I made mine about 5"x5".

Step 4:

Then proceed to cut out bottom and lid areas with saw.

Step 5:

Cut the piece of 2x2 wood just long enough for lid clearance and screw it to the inside of the bucket with sheet rock screws from the outside of the bucket going in.   This will be the agitator for the composter.

Step 6:

Using a wire brush on drill or sandpaper roughen the area about an inch or so around perimeter of cut out area.  This allows better adhesion of the gorilla glue to the plastic.   After doing this if your bucket is dirty like mine it is a good time to clean it.

Step 7:

With your scissor cut out a patch of screen material about the size of the area you roughed up on the bucket and lid.  Apply gorilla glue and let dry.

Step 8:

Now apply black paint to the exterior of bucket and top/bottom.   The black paint I used was from the area hazardous waste recycling center.   It was a nearly full can of spray paint

Step 9:

There you have it.  Now start composting.  Agitate the material by rolling on ground.   It does a small amount of compost at a time, enough for a small flower bed or a couple planters.   Follow the rules of composting and enjoy free fertilizer.  

I left the handle on my composter.    Using the side cutter, I formed  the metal coat hanger into a hook that I can push into the ground to prevent it from blowing around on windy days.

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    7 years ago on Step 9

    Simple, yet effective. I love how people make composting so difficult and expensive. Kind of makes me chuckle.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very clever! I'm glad I stumbled upon this. Living in town, I can't throw the potato peels in the yard like I could in the country.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I think most people in towns would not have enough materials to compost in the large commercial ones. This one is just small enough to do the basics. As far as cold composting, I am not familiar with that. Composting is a combination of green and brown organic materials. Heat from decomposing increases the temp of the material to about 170F. The thickness of the pile contains the heat in the center of it in larger composers. Hence my composer has black outside for the aid of the sun as the inside amount is not very large.  With this you can add water as needed, the screens give it the air ventilation required.   Of course you could purchase a commercial one if you want to get serious.,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=6cf7bac9312c6eea&biw=1024&bih=672