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Compost Bin in Honor of Earth Day

Composting is a great way to recycle and build a beautiful lush garden.  Here is a quick inexpensive how to Compost Bin in Honor of Earth Day.

DIY Compost Bins

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

One way to show support for our environment is composting instead of throwing it away.

I have 3 huge piles of compost in different stages that sit at the end of our property (on the opposite end of where my garden is).  They are so big we use a tractor to flip them.  Everything goes in these bad boys, grass, leaves, weeds, trimmings and I my chicken poo too.

However, I wanted to try to keep a compost pile that was a bit cleaner simpler, and smaller closer to the garden that wasn’t an eye sore.  I looked into the plastic black rotating bins that are sold at major retailers and the price range is around $200.00, which was more than I wanted to spend.  I looked into what was needed to build my own and didn’t hesitate to run to the hardware store to pick up the supplies and get started.

What you Need:

I purchased two black (because I figured black would conduct more heat and break down the compost faster) plastic inexpensive trash cans with clamping lids.  You want lids that clamp on because this will help when turning cans.

You will need a drill and a 13/64″ drill bit.

How To:

You will drill holes in a straight line from top to bottom at about 6″ intervals.

This took about 5 minutes for both cans.

DIY Compost Bin for Earth Day

The reason I am doing two cans is I figured one can compost while I work on filling the other.

The rules to composting are simple no need to over complicate something that is so simple. A combination of 30 parts Carbon to 1 part Nitrogen creates the ideal environment for microbes to break down organic material to produce compost.  In easy speak, that means 1 part brown to 2 parts green.

Combine the correct ratio of carbon and nitrogen to your bin and then add water to your material so that it is as wet as a well-wrung sponge. It is recommended that the compost pile heat to 130-150 degrees F and maintain that temperature for 3 days.  Heating is necessary to destroy pathogens but temperatures above 160 degrees F can kill beneficial microorganisms and slow the process.  To help you achieve appropriate temperature you can purchase a compost temperature gauge from a local nursery.

How to Build Compost

I placed two cinder blocks on the ground and placed the first completed bin on top and secured the lid.  I even had a bit of material left over to start the second.  The whole process took about 25 minutes.

Now once a week I will take a peek to make sure that the contents are staying moist and with some assistance.  I’m keeping the cans right on the edge of my vegetable garden which sits right next to the chicken run.  It is perfect for easy access and because of the color and the tidiness, they are not an eyesore.

In 30-40 Days I will have compost that I can add to the garden as needed.  You can add the compost to your vegetable garden or flower bed by spreading it on the surface or by gently working it into existing soil.

I’m hoping that by the end of July I will have a can full of compost, with the second ready by the end of August.

Let me know if you build your own compost bin and any tips you have for making compost.

DIY Compost Bin How to | ahealthylifeforme.com

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21 comments on “Compost Bin in Honor of Earth Day”

  1. Hi Amy, how often do you turn it? Is it required to maintain the heat for the whole time or just the first three days? Thanks

  2. Hello Amy: i am a 1st timer and seeking a bit of clarification about your post. When you suggest heat for 3 days, is this in the direct sun? Making sure it doesnt get too warm? Should I bring it in each night (garage) for those 3 days? The nights get very chilly here (30° difference).
    After those 3 days have elapsed shall I place it in a shady spot in my garden to insure it doesnt dry out?? As was suggested in another article?
    Many thanks!

  3. HI Amy. I’m new at this. I have a couple of questions. How can I heat up the compost? Instead of turning it can I just put something in and mix it ? Thank you

      1. Placing the cans on cinder blocks allows you to put an inexpensive aluminium tray underneath to catch the “compost tea” that drips out. The “tea” can be added to gardens as well.

      2. Hi
        I am a stage IV breast cancer patient that is trying to start an organic garden, but did not know where to begin until now.
        Thank you all for all the advice
        Star from Charleston SC

  4. Avatar photo
    Carmen Arevalo

    Hi Amy, I live in the tropics very close to the equator, that means we have heat all year around and very humid. Should I keep unchanged process or introduce variations due to different weather conditions?

  5. You mentioned a clamp on lid helps with turning. What did you mean by this? Do you turn the can over? If so, how often? I’ve never composted before – thank you for the helpful article!

    1. Hi Heather, I was referring to the clamps that are part of the lid to the trash can. If your can doesn’t have clamps you just want to make sure that the lid doesn’t fall off when you turn it. I lay my can on its side and roll it making sure everything gets mixed together. Hope this helps. Amy

  6. Can You Feel The can gradually or do you have to have enough contents to fill it all at once? I am just beginning so can I just add to it until it gets full?

  7. Hi Amy

    Is it advisable to also drill holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain or is that not necessary? i like this idea and will probably give it a go but i just want confirmation about putting drain holes on the bottom.

  8. Avatar photo
    Nancy L Bernal

    Hi Amy! I’m going to start with one bin at a time. We live on a horse farm with plenty horse poo, straw and hay. I’m starting a little garden also.

    I’ll be in touch as to my success and also wanted to tell you we also love Airedales, and have Miss Molly, our precious 2year old.

    Thanks for posting.

    1. How awesome Nancy… about the Airedales and the poo.:) Hope you make a wonderful pile of compost to enjoy!

  9. What an excellent idea about how to make garbage can compost bins!!! So much cheaper (if I can find them around here for cheap). Great tip, thanks!

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