Do you want to start composting but don’t want to buy an expensive composter? This DIY compost bin is so easy to make and costs less than $20.
It’s free if you have an old trash can that you don’t need anymore. Not only is it inexpensive, it takes less than 30 minutes to put together. This DIY compost bin was so easy, my kids were able to make it while I was on bedrest with our youngest daughter.
I was tired of the amount of food waste we had each week and wanted to compost our kitchen scraps to reduce our waste. Since I was on bed rest, I had to rely on my trusty helpers to accomplish this project. New compost bins are expensive why not make our own?
Even the inexpensive bins were $90! After doing some research I realized that a compost bin was basically a cylinder with air holes that could be rolled or “tumbled.”
A trash can would be the perfect inexpensive DIY compost bin! It has a lid, you can drill holes in it, and the kids can easily roll it around the yard.
Here’s what I used to make our compost bin.
DIY Compost Bin Supplies
- 1 trash can with lid
- 1 drill
- 2 bungee cords
- kids that like to roll things around the yard (optional)
I recommend using a smaller trash can (32 gallon) so that it is easy to roll around your yard once it is filled with compost.
Also, I do not recommend drilling your garbage can inside, unless you have to sit in your bed to take the pictures.
Using the drill, drill holes in the garbage can. We decided to drill 4 or 5 holes on each “side” and bottom of the can. ( I realize circles don’t have sides, but I hope you understand what I mean) After consulting with several readers, I would drill 10 to 15 holes on each side. The more air the better.
I recommend using the largest drill bit you have. We ended up doing this two times because our holes were too small initially. You want to have the holes big enough to let air in, but small enough to keep the compost in the can when you roll it.
It helps to have one person drilling and another person holding the can steady.
Your can should have twice as many holes when you are finished. The more holes the better.
Then drill several holes in the lid.
Once you have finished drilling the holes, fill the compost bin about 1/3 full with grass clippings and leaves. Then spray them with a little water so they are damp.
You can add your kitchen waste. Here is a list of things you can add to your bin.
Keep your lid secured on your bin, we used bungee cords.
Every few days have your helpful children roll the bin around the yard to mix things up.
Store your bin in a sunny spot to help break things down quicker.
Total cost of this project: About $15 for the can, the bungee cords were in the garage.
Total time spent: Less then 30 minutes including clean-up.
More Frugal Gardening Ideas:
- Frugal Gardening Tips
- How to Start a Compost Pile
- How to Make Garden Stones with Kids
- Three Ways to Save in the Vegetable Garden