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Compost Bin Designs

Start with a Kitchen Compost Pail

Use compost bin designs to build your own composter. Starting a compost pile means using kitchen compost pails to collect waste. A compost grinder and/or a compost tumbler will turn waste into rich organic soil or fertilizer quickly.

Composting is one way of making your own organic fertilizer for both the garden and houseplants. Instead of throwing out certain kitchen and yard ends and pieces, you can recycle them and get a great, organic by-product. Better still it’s not hard to do.

Starting a Compost Pile:

To start composting, you’ll need an indoor container for household wastes that can go into a compost heap. Whatever you choose, look for something that won’t stain or rust, and one that’s air tight so that smells don’t leak into your home. A lot of people opt for a kitchen compost pail with a well-fitted lid.

You’ll also need to determine where you’re going to house outdoor wastes. In some cases people may opt for an open air compost pile that’s away from the home. Generally this isn’t recommended as it can attract vermin. Instead you can either build a bin on pallets or with plywood. To be honest, commercial compost bin designs are terrific and long lasting so it might be worth shopping around.


If you have a large field or garden that requires plowing, use a compost grinder attachment on your tractor or find a portable shredder grinder.

You can speed up the compost process by grinding leaves, weeds, vines, hedge and tree cuttings. Many of these grinders also handle newspaper, certain grades of cardboard, and more.

(Be careful with these - improper use or operation can result in injury.) You can often find these compost grinders at farm product centers or at equipment rental locations.

If you do decide to build your own composting bin remember that compost needs air to decompose effectively.

To achieve this you’ll want to loosen any ingredients that seem to be matting and mix the entire pile periodically.

Use a compost bin design that allows for mixing and aerating (some commercial compost bin designs for composters include a tumbling mechanism).

When you’re loosening and turning to aerate, add a little water to any part of the pile that’s dry to speed the composting process. Note that you want the pile DAMP - not soaking wet. If you live in a very rainy climate and have an open-top pile, cover it with a tarp to keep it from getting too mushy.

What’s in a Compost Pile?

A healthy compost pile is a blend of many things including brown and green weeds, fall leaves, sawdust, straw and woodchips. Additionally all of the following items can be composted:

  • fruit and vegetable ends, peels and pieces
  • coffee and tea grounds
  • grass clippings & garden waste
  • eggshells
  • hair clippings

If you eat organic food, then the waste you put in your compost will also be organic waste (a good thing).

Having said that, do NOT add the following items to your compost pile:

  • any chemically treated wood
  • plant pieces that show sign of mold or disease
  • human or pet excrement
  • meat and fats

Best Compost Bin Designs: Using Finished Compost

By the time your compost pile has 'cooked' completely, you won’t be able to recognize any of the initial components. There shouldn’t be residual bad smells either. In fact, it will look and smell a lot like soil.

Note: depending on what you put into your compost, some materials will break down faster than others. Use a compost grinder to help your materials decompose more quickly. A compost tumbler will also help to aerate the materials and help with decomposition.

In this form your compost can get added to your outdoor garden early in spring as a fertilizer. Or, if you have a bunch left over come winter, turn it into the soil and let it work until spring.

If you’ve already planted, you can put a little compost around the base of each plant to give it nourishment. Or, if you wish, you can use the compost like mulch throughout your gardens. This will retain moisture where needed and help deter some weeds.

For people who love a beautiful lawn, use your compost on those bald spots or areas where the turf seems thin. Compost interacts positively with the soil, helps with drainage issues, and improves aeration.

Build the best compost bin design for your needs and start composting today.

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