Cheasy (Cheap and Easy) Compost Bin




Back yard looked like pasture.
People coming over next day.  (People that don't know I'm a slob.)
Opposed to carting off compostable lawn refuse.
I needed a compost bin and fast.

Instant Decomp Nirvana: $10 bucks and 50 minutes from the time I pulled out of the driveway until I was actually filling the bin.

I purchased Yard Guard Plastic Garden Fence 40" X 25' from Home Depot for just under $10.  Everything else I had on hand in my garage.
2 @ 2X4 scraps cut to 40"
Some staples and a staple gun - not a desk stapler
2 @ 18" small synthetic rope
Power drill with bit big enough to make a hole to pass the rope
Scissor or knife to cut the fencing

I used about 16' of the fence.  Any smaller the compost magic doesn't happen quite right as there is too much surface area to dry the compost.  Cut yours to size - desired diameter times pi on a calculator will result in the required length. 
Circumference calculator

Staple the fencing to the 2X4 at each end.  Take care not to cut into plastic fence.

Drill a hole in each 2X4 near top and bottom so that holes align when boards are placed side by side. 

Pass rope though holes and tie with a square knot.

Alternate layers of green, moist plant material with "browns" (leaves, manure, wood shaving, etc.)  Whenever you're ready to turn the compost just untie the ropes, move the bin over 6 feet and fill it again adding  water as needed as you go.

* Although unsightly, the orange safety fence used on construction sites would probably work great for this.  If you dive dumpsters you have a readily available free supply.  Just don't make it where you can see it from my house.  : )
* It was a bit floppy at first but once I got the first foot or so filled it stood well enough.  Stapling a few intermediate supports would have helped.  I just mounded some material in the center before placing the enclosure and pushed it against the sides to hold it in place.
* When you're not using the bin, roll it up in a corner of your garage or garden shed.
* Baling wire or zip ties would work fine in place of rope.



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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This kind of fencing also has Fencing Posts available for under $5 each. They have clip/hooks to help attach the fencing right to it. Clip on/clip off. 2 (opposite each other) would do to give the support while filling the bin.

    The bin needs to be about 3 - 4 feet across (diameter) so it can stay moist (not wet) and build up enough heat for the microbes. No more than 4 feet or the center won't get enough air. Or, you can add a 4 - 6 inch perforated drain pipe in the center to bring air in and gas out if you want to make it bigger. Kind of like a donut bin.

    Dr Qui

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea, I was wondering how well does that stuff stand up to sunlight? I have about 2.4 cubic meters of wood chips (and growing) to compost and this may be the low budget option i'm after, was also wondering if the stuff to be composted was packed down or just shoveled in loose?

    2 replies
    alhazenDr Qui

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm starting on year two and it has held up well so far. It is a bit wobbly until you get the first foot of material into it. I layered material in a foot at a time packing it to maintain a roundish shape and keep it relatively upright. I did later add two more upright boards to help it keep shape while filling.

    Since you have a lot of material on hand to fill all at once I think this would work in your case. For someone looking to dump kitchen and garden wastes a little at a time I think a metal fence would be the way to go because this really needs to be somewhat full to maintain shape

    Dr Quialhazen

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I called into the hardware store I used to work in and asked the yard guys to drop me out some of the old pallets they want to get rid off, 5 or 6 should be enough to make a corral that I can really pack the wood chips down into as they need to be densely packed to compost, i'm going to build a methane digester to go in the center of the pile using the Jean Pain method (you-tube it) just not as big and without the water pipe, something tow tech and simple to use household scraps to make gas and plant fertilizer with and have a nice pile of compost at the end of the cycle too, or in other words something to keep me occupied with.