The Easiest DIY Compost Bin Ever

Save money, benefit your garden, and help preserve the environment—all at the same time—with this simple DIY project. It's a win-win all around.

Compost bins are simple to make yourself with just two simple items. Learn how you can start composting in just minutes.

Get ready for a thriving garden. It's now easier than ever to make your own compost. Compost is a nutrient-rich blend of decomposed organic materials that works wonders for plants. Plus, it's a great way to recycle leftover or unwanted items—think garden clippings, kitchen scraps, and dry leaves. 

To make compost, you'll need a compost bin. And luckily, we've come up with the easiest way to make one. All you need is a trash can and a drill. We've also devised some important composting tips and tricks to help you get started. 

6 Compost Bins that Aren't Eyesores

What You Need

  • Trash can
  • Drill
  • Paddle drill bit

Step 1: Prep the Bin

If using an older trash can, throughly rinse it out before using. You don't want any lingering remnants of nonbiodegradable materials in your bin. If using a brand-new bin, skip the wash, but remove any tags or packaging.

Step 2: Drill Holes

Attach paddle bit to the drill. Starting a few inches from the lid, drill a hole into the trash can. Space another hole approximately 3 inches from the first hole. Continue drilling until you have rows of holes that span both the width and length of your bin. Repeat on all sides. 

Step 3: Clean Out Bin

Once again, thoroughly wash and dry the trash can. This time you're cleaning out any plastic shards that were created during the drilling process. 

Composting Tips and Tricks

Feed your compost pile with the right materials, encourage decay, and more. 

  • There are two types of composting: hot and cold. Hot composting "fast-cooks" the materials with nitrogen, carbon, air, and water to create compost in only a few months. Cold composting simply requires collecting materials in a bin and letting them naturally decompose over the course of a year.
  • Good materials are the key to good compost. We recommend fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, grass clippings, dry leaves, finely chopped wood, shredded paper, straw, and sawdust from untreated wood. 
  • Bad materials can harm your pile, and eventually your garden. Don't try to compost anything with diseased plants, treated wood, animal feces, weeds that go to seed, or anything containing meat, oil, fat, dairy, or grease.

More Composting Ideas

1 Comment

  1. I tried this. Every time we have contractors, they throw crap in it and ruin the compost. I put signs on it and everything, but they still contaminated it.

    1. Find a place out of view and start a compost pile. No container needed. I did this for years by dumping leaves, grass clippings, vegetable plant clean-up, and flower bed clean-up, etc. I would shovel some soil over it once in awhile and the rain watered it. It's not rocket science, it's nature decomposing everything just like it happens in the forests and fields. In the Spring I had beautiful compost which I
      shoveled out from the bottom of the pile and used everywhere in the garden.

    2. Is there any way to Lock the lid?

    3. my lawnmower guy threw weed clippings ALL OVER my permaculture bed. I am LIVID. I now have a weed bed.

    4. Put a lock on it. That should stop those sneaky contractors.

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