Friday, May 24, 2013

Super Easy DIY Compost Bin Using A Large Barrel

 This is a situation when my hardheadedness worked against me. All of my research suggested that I have two compost bins. One for collecting compost and one to "work." Of course, I didnt listen so now I have a bin that is humming along but with about a third of the stuff new items that are going to take far longer to finish. Hence, the need for a second compost bin (and an annoying task this weekend of stiffing through the first pile to take out the newest additions.

First compost bin. I happily acquired him for no cost from
someone on
New compost bin I made in less than 30 minutes. Minus the top
and the wooden pallet below.

As I "acquired" three large barrels, I wanted to use one to make a quick and easy compost bin in less than 30 minutes.

You'll need:

  1. Large "Food Grade" Barrel
  2. Cleaning Solution (I use vinegar, lemon juice, and peppermint soap)
  3. Drill
  4. 1-inch spade bit


  1. Acquire your barrel. Food-grade is ideal, but as long as you know what was in it before and it was not toxic then it should be able to be used. Remember that anything in this bin will end up in your soil, which will end up in what you grow, which will end up in your body. Be smart.
  2. Wash your barrel inside and out with your cleaning solution.
  3. Using your drill and 1-inch spade bit drill from 5 to 10 holes in the bottom of the barrel.
  4. Drill 16 holes on the sides of the container.

   5. Drill 4 to 10 holes on the top of the barrel.

   6. Load up your new composter!

Final Tips:

One of the benefits of using a round barrel like this is how easy it is to lay it on its side and roll it around to mix everything around. If you are going to be using this on your roof, I advise that you elevate it in some way. Wooden pallets are always being left for trash pickup in Brooklyn so that's what I use.

Anyone else made their own bin? How did yall do it?

Happy Holiday (aka hardcore garden project) Weekend!
- Monti

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