Make an Apartment-sized Indoor Compost Bin




Introduction: Make an Apartment-sized Indoor Compost Bin

I live in a TINY apartment & I'm cheap.

This is my solution to composting.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

1. empty Cat food tub (or any large plastic tub with a lid that seals well)

2. a base tray (I used a cookie sheet that I don't use for baking (it doesn't fit in my oven))

3. a drill & bits

4. Charcoal filters, for a litterbox (I bought the wrong ones & used them anyway)

5. cling wrap or similar product

6. newspaper or plastic drop cloth

Step 2: Wash & Wrap

Wash out your container. -I had to do mine in the tub.

while your container is drying; wrap your base tray in the plastic wrap.

-you don't have to wrap the tray, but in the event of any spill or drips it will make for an easier clean up.

Step 3: Assess & Plan

Check out your filters.

I bought the wrong ones by mistake, but decided to make them work rather than just eat the cost.

(there are probably other resources for this type of filter, this was just the most readily available- read; easiest)

Determine your filter size/shape & use that to guide where you're going to drill.

We are drilling ventilation holes here, so we need a range. The filters cover the holes to prevent odors getting out & pests getting in.

I decided to put 1 filter, with 4 holes underneath centered at the top of ea side & 2 on the lid.

I held the filters in place & marked the corners.

Step 4: Drill!

Using your marks from your filter guide, drill your holes.

Make sure that the hole are covered by the filter, but not obstructed (the filters that I bought had an adhesive pad in the center that I had to work around).

I also drilled holes in the bottom. Use your judgment based on your container, for placement.

**Once all your holes are drilled; empty & if necessary, rinse your bucket. You don't want sharp little plastic fragments mixed into your lovely compost.

Step 5: Attach Your Filters

The filters I purchased had an adhesive in the center, so I used that.

-If you're using the 'correct' kind of filter, you could probably hot glue it.

I wanted a really good seal around the filter to discourage pests.

Use packing tape to seal the edges of each filter. (following my layout, there should be 6 filters.)

Step 6: Place in a Convenient Location

Place your new compost bucket, on it's tray in a convenient location.

Now get to it! Eat lots of healthy fresh fruits & veggies & fill that baby up with the trimmings!

Green Design Contest

Participated in the
Green Design Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Back to School: Student Design Challenge

      Back to School: Student Design Challenge
    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest
    • Cheese Challenge

      Cheese Challenge



    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm going to try this, how is it working out for you?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction


    -to be honest, not so great. But I don't think it's a design flaw; I'm fairly certain that it was the lack of actual dirt... You need to add something besides food scraps; dirt, wood chips(?), grass, etc... something to help soak up the liquids. I don't have access to any of those things, so mine was coming out soupy. :/

    thanks for your comment & good luck with yours!!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, you should probably add paper such as newspaper, autumn will come around so tree leaves is a possibility...

    Good luck!

    This looks awesome and I'm going to have to try it. The whole filter idea is great! I think I will recycle a plastic shopping bag (I don't get many, but I do get some) as a liner, to make it easier to clean the compost bin. Thanks for this!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    thanks! & feel free to share your pics! :)