How to Make a $10 Compost Bin

How to Make a $10 Compost Bin

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Composting is one of the best things you can do for your garden, but a compost bin can cost you anywhere from $50 to $300. I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to spend money unless needed. So, I figured out how to make a $10 compost bin – and it works.

Compost is the perfect soil amendment, and it’s free for you to make at home. A compost bin needs to have space for the dirt, scraps, and other items you add into it. It needs to have drainage holes and air circulation. Pretty simple, right?

Ready to make your $10 compost bin? Let’s get started!

Items Needed to Make a $10 Compost Bin

  • Rubbermaid Container
  • Knife, Box Cutter, or Drill
  • Duct Tape
  • Chicken Wire
  • Scissors

How to Make a D.I.Y Compost Bin

First, find the container that you want. I had an extra Rubbermaid container that previously held children’s clothes waiting for my younger kids to get older.

Once you have your container, poke holes in the bottom and sides of the container. I just cut some slits into the plastic with a sharp knife, but a drill should do the job as well.

Next, cut a rectangle out of the lid. This provides plenty of air flow and lets you add water to the bin without needing to take off the lid. Plus, it keeps animals out of it.

As you can see, mine isn’t a perfect rectangle or close to perfect. I don’t know what happened there; I got a bit distracted with four kids running around.

Look at this toddler toes! So darn cute.

Cut the chicken wire to be a bit larger than the rectangle you cut. Using duct tape, secure it to the lid. Duct tape fixes everything, seriously.

I never said this was beautiful, just cheap!

Now, you’re ready to start composting. Add dirt, fruit and veggie scraps, some dried leaves from your yard, and more. Just make sure to avoid these items in your compost; they do more harm than good.

Add some moisture to the compost, turn it with a shovel or hoe. Put the lid on, and you’re ready to go.

Picking the Right Area for Your Compost Bin

You want to pick a dry, shady spot in your yard for the best composting performance. At the same time, the location should be convenient for you, making it most likely that you’ll give your compost the care it needs. You don’t want to have to walk 1/4 mile to add to your compost bin.

Place your compost bin need a water source, making it easier to add moisture when needed.

You don’t want it in full sun or your compost will dry out too quickly. Composts, when done correctly, won’t stink, so you can keep it near your patio if needed. Ideally, your compost also will be in an area that is close to your garden.

Start Adding to Your Compost

Now you can start adding to your compost. Don’t stress too much; the list of what you can add to your compost is much longer than what you shouldn’t add.

A few common things that we add to our compost include:

  • Eggshells
  • Fruit Scraps
  • Veggie Scraps
  • Newspapers
  • Cardboard
  • Shredded Leaves
  • Grass Clippings
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Tea Bags
  • Used Paper Towels
  • Paper Bags
  • Stale Crackers
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Dryer Lint

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8 thoughts on “How to Make a $10 Compost Bin

  1. Thanks for the how-to guide! I know how compost bins can be super expensive. I, unfortunately, have no place for one in my flat. 🙁 It’s something I’d like to have if I live in a house though.

    1. Have you ever considered trying a worm compost bin? You can keep it under your kitchen sink and compost. Plus, vermicomposting is much faster than traditional composting. It’s great for those who live in apartments.

    1. That won’t hurt it! As long as you have enough holes in the box and perhaps sit it up on bricks, you should be fine! Mine isn’t under a covered area and we don’t have issues. If it gets too wet, add some carbon items (brown materials) like shredded leaves, to soak it up.

    1. You’ll need something with a strong fitting lid. You could use a different type of rubbermaid container with locks on the handles and staple gun the wire to the lid. If you have a lot of critters, it might be good to watch your local BST boards for compost tumblers. I found several this summer for less than $30!

    1. If I lived in a dorm or a small apartment, I would consider using a worm compost, known as vermicomposting. It’s virtually odorless, and you can put the box right under your kitchen sink cabinet. It’s perfect for small spaces!

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