Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Homemade Compost Bin (for less than $20)

We have a lot of kitchen scraps...lots of carrot peels, apple cores, clementine rinds, kale stalks, strawberry tops...I could go on...

Before we moved to our current home, there was a compost pile behind our garage, and we used it all.  the.  time.

Since our new garage has no "behind" where we could build a compost pile, I've been looking for a good compost bin for awhile now.

Then a friend mentioned that she made one out of a garbage bin.  Brilliant!  Sure, this is not a large-capacity compost pile, but for our suburban backyard, it is perfect.

Here are the simple steps to turn a garbage bin into a compost bin (with less than $20 and 20 minutes):

1.  You will need:

**1 garbage bin with a locking or hinged lid (to keep out critters) and wheels for easy transport and so the bottom receives air from holes (or you can prop your bin up on bricks--you just need air to be able to get in from as many sides as possible)
**1 drill with a 3/8 or 1/2 inch bit
**somewhere outdoors to store the bin
that's it!


2.  Begin drilling holes in regular intervals on the lid, sides and bottom:

3.  Make about 40-50 holes, to allow for adequate air circulation:


4.  Make sure you have enough holes (G helped).

 5.  Stand back and marvel at your new compost bin.

6.  Begin collection brown (old leaves and such) and green (fruit/vegetables scraps, garden waste) in about a 2:1 ratio.

7.  Keep mixture moist (we chose a rainy day to do this, so the garden scraps were all wet, or you can sprinkle with water) and close the lid.

8.  Now the fun part:  about once a week, roll the bin to encourage decomposing.  G loves this part the best!

If you want detailed instructions on what to put in your bin and how long it takes for items to decompose, click here.

Less kitchen waste, rich compost for our garden, so we can produce more herbs and vegetables to use in the kitchen:  a triple win in my book!

Life is sweet,