How to Build a Composter, pt. 1

I’m not going to say we’re experts on this, but I think this just might work. We’re gardening this summer, and we wanted to put our garbage and produce scraps to work making our garden really take off. So, we decided to compost our vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, and eggshells not only to cut down on our landfill contributions, but also to give our plantings a boost. In order to contain the compost in our small backyard, we needed a compost bin.

We started out with a 32 gallon trashcan we picked up at the hardware store on sale for only $10. It’s vinyl, so it should be really durable and easily workable.

Our eventual plan is to mount this garbage can on a horizontal rod a few inches above the ground, so that we can tumble the compost inside by spinning the garbage can on its axis. But, for now, we’re going to get started as is.

Compost needs plenty of air in order to break down to the dark, earthy compost needed for gardens. In order to get this without attracting animals to our rotting food waste, we decided to drill some holes in the sides.

We drilled 1/4 inch holes throughout the walls of the garbage can, about 40-50 in total. If we need more later, we can always go back in and drill extras.

Finally, I drilled a 1 inch hole in both sides in order to hold the horizontal support rod in the future.

Compost also needs sun, so we’ll have to take the lid off the can occasionally to allow it to soak up the rays. The lid also locks on, which will be important when eventually tumbling it.

We also found this website helpful in learning what should and should not be composted as well as more local concerns. Soon, we’ll add the horizontal rod and support system and update this post.



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2 responses to “How to Build a Composter, pt. 1

  1. We did the same thing but with a galvanized can. No expensive composter needed! Watch out for rats with the plastic can – they can chew their way through!

  2. Pingback: Happy Earth Day! « Bungalow Bungahigh

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