Cheap and Easy DIY Compost Bins


That piece of plastic straw you just threw away? It will end up in the ocean and hurt a sea creature someday. That piece of banana wrapped in plastic you bought from the store? It’s a banana for crying out loud. It comes with its own protective layer. Oh, and that plastic wrap will also do more harm than good.

Every one of us should do our part in saving Mother Earth. Aside from not using plastic, one simple way to help the environment is composting. By recycling kitchen scraps and other organic resources, you increase the yield in your garden without resorting to harmful chemicals, which we all know is bad for the planet and us.

Since we’re on the topic of not being wasteful, it would also be great for the environment if you can use DIY compost bins though you can also buy any of the more affordable composters available in the market.

It’s pretty simple to do DIY compost bins really. Below are some examples.


Garbage Can DIY Compost Bins

Most people throw their trash, including kitchen scraps, in garbage cans or bins. It’s makes absolute sense then to use a garbage can as your compost bin.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products Brute Heavy-Duty Round Garbage Can

To make your DIY compost bins out of garbage cans, you’ll need a round trash can with lid, a drill and a couple of bungee cords. Simply drill ten to fifteen holes on both “sides” of the garbage bin. Drill holes on the lid, as well.

Cartman Bungee Cords Assortment Jar 24 Piece in Jar

Fill the garbage can with your compost materials such as leaves and grass. Finally, place the lid and keep it shut by using the bungee cords. Check out the more detailed set of instructions here.


Milk Crate DIY Compost Bins

If you happen to have milk crates just lying around, you can repurpose them into your DIY composters. They’re perfect for vertical compost bins.

Buddeez MC01016BLK Milk Crates

It’s pretty easy to make DIY compost bins out of your milk crates. You just need two or three milk crates, a weed blocker, some paper bags and a hot glue gun.

CCBetter Upgraded Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun with 30pcs Glue Sticks

Place the paper bag at the bottom of the crate then glue the weed block fabric to the four sides of the crate. As the name implies, the fabric will keep weeds away. Afterwards, fill the crate with a bit of soil and you’re done. You can now fill it with your kitchen scraps and other materials. Here’s the full set of instructions.


Concrete Block DIY Compost Bins

Concrete or cinder blocks can also be used to make DIY compost bins. Just make sure the concrete blocks you’re using have not been treated with chemicals or other toxic substances as what construction sites sometimes do.

Concrete Block Compost Bin. Photo by J. Wasson

Arrange your concrete blocks to form a square but with the front side left open. Leave an inch of space between each block to allow air circulation. The blocks arranged in a staggered manner with the block on top sits on two blocks underneath.

Another way is to build a knee-high box with four walls using the concrete blocks. Then place a wooden door on top with hinges and handles to make it easier to lift and open. This concrete block compost bin featured on Blue Planet Green Living is a good example of this kind of composter.


Pallet DIY Compost Bins

Wooden pallets are popular among DIYers and woodworkers. They’re cheap, light and easy to work with. They also make great DIY compost bins.

Aviditi Heat Treated Pallet

You’ll need to arrange four equal-sized heat-treated pallets to make a box. You’ll need to do some awing if they’re not of matching sizes.

Use corner brackets and screws to join the pallets together. You may also use hinges or wire to keep them together. When using wire, makes sure you twist it with a pair of pliers or long nose to stabilize the pallets.

DeWalt DCK240C2 20V MAX Li-Ion Drill Driver/Impact Driver Combo Kit

Join the back and side pallets first. For the front of your DIY compost bin, saw the pallet horizontally in half. Use hinges top attach each half to one side or wall. You should have two swinging doors, one on top the other at the bottom. Use hook and eye latches to close the doors.

For your finishing touches, you can wrap the compost bin with chicken wire to keep everything inside. See the video below for clearer instructions.


Plastic Tub Compost Bins

Rubbermaid Commercial Products Brute Tote Storage Container with Lid

Most homes have these large plastic tubs they use to store stuff such as toys, clothes, and even water. When it gets broken, they usually end up as trash. If you have these cracked plastic bins at home, don’t throw them away. Repurpose it into your very own DIY compost bins.

Makita CX200RB 2.0Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless 2-Piece Combo Kit

Drill holes on the bottom, sides and lid of your plastic bin to allow air circulation. Make sure the holes are not too big so your compost will not fall out. You’re practically done. All you need is to line up your compost materials inside your DIY compost bin.


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Waste not, want not. This is one of the timeless quotes that, sadly, some people have yet to fully grasp. In homesteading, you do your best to make use of everything you have. That means less waste as much as possible. Composting is the perfect example of that classic quote. And to live by that precept of not wasting anything, use DIY compost bins.

Check out the Gentleman Pirate Club for more stuff about gardening, homesteading and other useful stuff.

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