Build Your Own Composter

Find the Style that Fits your Backyard



Compost Pile

compost pile
No construction necessary. Find a sheltered spot in your backyard to begin your pile. That's it! Just keep in mind that items such as paper towels and napkins can blow around without a containment unit.

Single Wooden Unit

single wooden unit
Choose a 3'X 3' square site for your compost bin. Use a sledgehammer to pound the four posts (2X4) into the ground three feet apart, at the corners of the square. Nail 1X6 wood to the posts, leaving two inches between boards.One side can be left open to allow for any easy access if you wish. A second unit would allow the compost to mature in one box while you add materials to the first box.
View the Single Wooden Unit building plans.

Wooden Pallet Unit

wooden pallet unit
One easy way to build a simple and effective compost bin is to use four wooden shipping pallets and tie them together. Many retail outlets will allow you to reclaim the discarded pallets for use at home. After placing the four pallets upright to form your square bin, tie the four corners with rope, wire or chain. You can sew a fifth as a floor inside your bin to increase airflow and stability.
View the Wooden Pallet Unit building plans.

Snow Fence Bin

snow fence bin
Wood or plastic snow fence (or chicken wire) can be used to make a composter that is cheap and very easy to set up. If you want to turn the pile, you can remove the fence, set it up beside the first pile, and turn the compost into the newly set up bin. Simply make a circle out of the fence and tie it with metal wire to a couple of posts.
View the Snow Fence Bin building plans.

Wire-Mesh or Hardware Cloth Unit

wire-mesh or hardware cloth unit
Tie 3-4 ft of hardware cloth into a circle and attach the ends with wire ties using pilers. Space wood of metal posts around the inside, hold tight against the wire and pound them firmly into the ground to provide support.
View the Wire-Mesh or Hardware Cloth Unit building plans.

Drum/Can Composter

drum/can composterA plastic or metal drum may be used as a composter. It requires very little space in your backyard and is cheap and easy to set up.Remove the bottom of the can and puncture holes throughout. You may want to raise the can off the ground for additional ventilation.
View the Drum/Can Composter building plans.

Rotating Barrel Composter

rotating barrel composter
If your composting operation is small and you neither relish nor have the time for turning materials, then you'll find this composter suited to your needs. The barrel is rotated several times whenever new materials are added. It is constructed with a minimum of hand-powered tools and is not difficult or time-consuming to build. It will cost about $60 to build, providing you use a second-hand barrel.
View the Rotating Barrel Composter building plans.

Wood-and-Wire Three-Bin Turning Unit

wood and wire three bin turning unit
A wood-and-wire three-bin turning unit can be used to compost large amounts of yard, garden and kitchen wastes in a short time. Although relatively expensive to build, it is sturdy, attractive and should last a long time. Construction requires basic carpentry skills and tools. With optional lids and bottom, this unit can be made rodent-resistant.
View the Wood-and-Wire Three-Bin Turning Unit building plans.

Cement Block Bin

cement block bin
Cement blocks or bricks may be used to build a composter. It is easy to set up and can be constructed with two sections to facilitate the turning of the pile from one section to the next.

300 kg

To reach our goal of 300 kg, we all need to reduce our waste by one quarter.