Welcome to ‘Compost Bin Plans’. This site is being put together (i.e. it’s a work-in-progress) for the purpose of helping people learn how to create their own composting systems, and various other related pieces of equipment.
I’ve been a composting fanatic for quite a few years myself, and have always appreciated the beauty of the ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) approach. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a compost bin when you can typically build your own for less money, and better still – you can build it to your own specifications!
If you happen to be someone who doesn’t think you are capable of ‘building’ anything, I’m here convince you otherwise! I am probably the least ‘handy’ person I know, but have still managed to surprise myself by putting together some decent composting systems. A big part of why I wanted to create this site in fact, was to help encourage a lot of other building-dunces (like me) to venture out of their usual comfort zones and just give it a shot. You might be amazed by the creative composting systems you can actually put together if you follow the Nike motto and JUST DO IT!
This first version of ‘Compost Bin Plans’ will basically be a resource to help people connect with the wide array of great tutorials and videos already found online. Rather than having to search for the resources individually you will be able to access many of them from one central location. Again, let me remind you that this IS a work-in-progress, so it will probably take some time to get even the initial site up and running. By the way, if you happen to know of any great sites/videos/tutorials with help instructions about building a compost bin, please be sure to send me an email. My eventual goal with the site is to actually start offering easy-to-understand blueprints/plans for various types of composting bins – but it may be at least a few months before that comes to fruition. In the meantime, I’m hopeful that I’ll at least be able to get people pointed in the right direction!
I should mention that as the creator of the ‘Red Worm Composting’ website (and as a self-described worm composting fanatic), I feel somewhat obligated (haha) to include worm compost bin plans here as well – and really, when it comes down to it, I do plan to make this more of an all-encompassing DIY composting site in general. I should probably also mention that I’ll be featuring systems that don’t really need to be ‘built’ (in the usual sense of the word) at all! I am a big fan of in situ composting (basically creating a composting system right next to gardens, trees, shrubs etc that will directly benefit from the compost being produced), so I’ll be including instructions on creating those sorts of systems as well.
Building a Compost Bin
- Easy DIY Compost Bins -
Building a compost bin definitely does not need to be complicated. There are plenty of basic composting systems that virtually anyone could create. Remember, successful composting is not dependent on having a fancy system – as long as you are keeping the basic principles of composting in mind when you create your composter, you should do just fine – even with the simplest/cheapest materials. Here are some helpful YouTube videos demonstrating how to make very simple systems.
Wood Pallet Compost Bin
Now this is what I call a super simple compost bin! The video is only about a minute long, but it clearly demonstrates how you can very easily build a functional composting bin using nothing more than wooden pallets and some clothes hangers. What’s great about pallets is that they are the perfect size for a compost bin wall, and they encourage plenty of air flow – not to mention the fact that they can generally be obtained for free without too much difficulty.
Chicken Wire Compost Bin
This another great video showing how to make a really simple (yet effective) composter – this time using chicken wire and some scrap wood. This DIY composting approach is excellent for providing your heap with plenty of oxygen and for containing your materials (one of the advantages of a compost bin over a traditional compost heap), but you may find that it cools off and dries out much more quickly than some other systems. I would personally make the system larger than the one he makes in the video to help provide a bit more composting mass (thus helping to sustain heat for longer) – but as the host points out, this type of system can be great for reducing your fall leaves to a nice leaf mold. With some additional absorbent materials (shredded cardboard, coconut coir, peat moss etc) and a regular moistening schedule, this approach could probably also work really well as a worm composting system.
- Intermediate Compost Bin Plans -
This is a great video – nice and short but still very informative. It has a bit of an ‘infomercial’ feel about it, but the key is that the host shows us how to make a really cool intermediate level DIY composting bed (this is just based on my own assessment – I’m sure some may actually view this as a pretty basic system). This is definitely a system I would recommend converting into a vermicomposting bed, since the worms would likely speed up the breakdown process considerably, leaving you with some fantastic worm compost (aka ‘castings’). I really like the fact that the finished material can be accessed so easily from the bottom – the only potential issue here might be dealing with critters like racoons etc, if you are planning to add food waste.
I should also mention that you certainly wouldn’t need to build it this large – nor would you want to if you composting space (and amount of available waste) is limited.
- Advanced Composting Systems -
Concrete Block Composter
Now this is what I call a FANTASTIC diy composter! Wow. I would love to have something like this. Obviously this is an example of a ‘homemade’ composting system that might end up costing you more than some manufactured composters, but if you are really serious about your composting I think it would be worth it! If you happen to live in a colder zone, I would think that this sort of a system built into the side of a hill (preferably south-facing) could serve as a great cold weather composter. Perhaps you could even forget the blocks altogether and simply use straw bales instead. This is also yet another compost bin that would be great for vermicomposting – assuming you either let it heat for awhile, or you add materials slowly over time.
Rather than adding everything to this one page, I am planning to organize the information by broad category so you can easily find what you are looking for. As you can see, here on the main page I will discuss regular DIY compost bins (your run-of-the-mill ‘backyard composters’), but will reserve other pages for topics such as…
Compost Tumbler Plans – Compost tumblers seem to be ‘all the rage’ these days, so I guess it’s not too surprising that people want to learn how to create them on their own (especially given the crazy price tags associated with some of the systems). I have come across some interesting resources for DIY compost tumblers and will be sure to include them here.
Worm Bin Plans – Creating worm bins (and other vermicomposting systems) is certainly something I am very familiar with as mentioned above, so no composting site of mine would be complete with a section devoted to the topic. We’ll start with some nice easy basic designs – but I am eventually hoping to bring you some plans for more advanced worm composting systems as well.
Composting Toilet Plans – This might seem like some a wee bit off the beaten track, but I have little doubt that there will be plenty of people wanting to learn about building their own composting toilet. There are certainly some great resources online to help you do so.