Reduce your kitchen waste with this easy DIY compost bin. Whether you live in a small apartment or a house with a yard, indoor composting is an efficient way to give back to the planet all year round.

By Morgan Noll
Updated February 26, 2019
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Composting kitchen scraps is a simple way to help the environment without doing much work. Store your compost bin under the sink or on the counter for easy access in the kitchen and indoor composting will quickly become part of your daily routine. We used a basic plastic container to make our indoor compost bin, but you can find ones in materials like stainless steel or bamboo if you want the bin to fit in with your decor. Make sure the container you choose has a tight lid and air holes for ventilation. Follow the steps to create your own indoor compost bin and start composting. You'll rethink the way you toss your kitchen scraps!

What You Need

  • Container with lid
  • Drill
  • Nylon mesh screen
  • Hot glue gun
  • Dirt
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Shredded newspapers

Step 1: Drill Holes in Container Lid

Drill five evenly spaced holes in the lid of the container for ventilation. Air is a necessary component to help the materials in your bin breakdown, and these holes will help regulate airflow.

Step 2: Add Screen

Cut a piece of nylon screen big enough to cover all of the air holes. Hot glue the screen to the underside of the container lid. This will keep fruit flies and other bugs from getting in or out of the compost bin.

Step 3: Fill with Scraps

Knowing what to put in a compost bin, and what to avoid putting in will make your composting experience far more successful. Start with dirt on the bottom and some shredded newspaper on top. Then add kitchen scraps like banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells everyday as you cook or clean out your fridge. It’s best to break or cut up these scraps into small pieces to help them decompose faster.

Editor’s tip: Avoid adding fats, meats, and dairy products to your compost pile as these can produce a bad odor and attract unwanted pests or rodents.

Step 4: Stir

Stir the compost about once a week to aerate the mixture. Be sure to put the lid back on tightly to avoid attracting unwanted pests. When the compost is ready to use, you can add it to your outdoor compost pile or search for compost drop off locations near you.

Compost Solutions

Smell: If smell is holding you back from having an indoor compost bin, don't fret—smell can be controlled easier than you think. If your bin is starting to stink, add dry leaves or newspaper to your pile. This will balance the wet-dry content ratio, controlling any acidic odors.

Rodents and Pests: The first step to keeping away rodents and pests is your choice of compost container. Sticking to a solid-side bin with a lid will keep unwanted critters out. Also, avoid meats, dairy, and fats in your compost bin.

Slow Decomposition: Make sure you stir your pile with a hand trowel or shovel at least once a week to aerate oxygen into the mixture. Keeping small contents (such as cut-up banana peels) in the pile will also speed up the breaking-down process.

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