A man putting soil in a compost bin in a backyard.

Go Green, Go Organic — Build a Compost Bin

how to Make a Compost Bin

With people looking towards more sustainable and cheaper ways of living, gardening has become quite the pastime. What was once a hobby is now a full-fledged way of living. One to keep your soil nutritious and fruitful is to add compost into it.

As we all know, compost can become quite costly, especially if you have to work it into the ground every few weeks. But saving a few extra dollars is not the only benefit of making your own compost bin. Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons.


  • Using your own compost reduces the need and use of chemical fertilizers
  • It’s cost-efficient and easy to make yourself
  • It produces 100% organic fertilizer for your garden
  • It’s much more eco-friendly as it lowers your carbon footprint by reducing methane emissions from landfills
  • Reduces food waste
  • Fewer garbage pickups and disposal
  • When used, it improves your soil’s quality


  • It can create a stinky smell
  • It needs monitoring and labor investment
  • It takes time and patience

How to Make Your Own Compost Bin

There are many different guides out there that teach you how to make a compost bin. We’ve done all the research work, so you do not have to. This is the simplest and cheapest way to make a compost bin for your backyard.

Step 1

The first step in the process is to choose a bin. It can either be recycled or newly purchased from a container store. You should get a container with a lid (to keep moisture in and small creatures out). The size of the bin is entirely up to you, but we recommend one that is at least 26 inches tall.

Step 2

Next, you should make some holes in the bottom of the bin. This is to ensure there is proper airflow through the container. Holes on the lid of the bin are also recommended.

They can be small, but they should be drilled evenly on the bottom of the bin. Drill between 8-12 holes, depending on the size of your container.

Step 3

To start the composting process, add a base layer of dry leaves or shredded newspaper or cardboard at the bottom. This layer only serves as a base and should fill up about one quarter or one-eighth of the bin’s volume.

Step 4

Add dirt on top of the bottom layer. The dirt can be from your garden and does not have to be fertilized at all. Fill the bin up until it is halfway full.

Step 5

Start adding all compost-friendly materials and waste on top of the dry leaves and dirt. After you have added these, you should use a shovel or garden fork to stir the mixture. Make sure that the soil completely covers waste, food scraps, and other materials.

Step 6

Keep this mixture moist by spraying it with lukewarm water. Your bin should never be dripping in water; just a quick spray is enough to keep it moist. Make sure to close the lid of your bin after you have added your elements.

What Can and Can’t I Compost?

Unfortunately, you cannot throw just any scraps from the table or garden into your newly made compost bin. To clarify what you can and cannot compost, here is a complete list:

What Can I Compost?

  • All fruits and veggies like peels, stems, and rotten leftovers
  • Houseplants (dead or half-alive)
  • Ashes from a wood fire
  • Wooden chips
  • Nutshells
  • Teabags and coffee grounds or filters
  • Cardboard, paper, and shredded newspaper
  • Grass and yard trimmings or clippings
  • Eggshells
  • Leaves
  • Straw and hay
  • Fur and hair from pets
  • Sawdust
  • Woolen rags and cotton

What Can’t I Compost?

  • Ashes from a charcoal or coal fire
  • Houseplants that are full of pests or insects
  • Food scraps like meats, bones, and fish bones
  • Oils, grease, and fats
  • Twigs or leaves from a black walnut tree
  • Any dairy products including milk, eggs, creams, or butter
  • Soiled cat litter or feces from pets
  • No trimmings or clippings that were treated with pesticides
  • Limes; even though it is food it might be too acidic for your compost

Choose a shady and dry spot for your newly made compost bin. Remember to water it regularly and turn the mixture to maintain it. Also, don’t forget to chop up larger pieces to help the composting process.
After about two to five weeks, your compost will be ready to use and fertilize the soil in the garden. Happy gardening!