For this tutorial, I reused a worn out household tote to create outdoor compost bin.
Composting seems like it should be something very difficult to accomplish, but on the contrary, it is quite easy and very helpful for our environment. Composting reduces the amount of waste in our landfills, which reduces the amount of hazardous runoff in our water resources.
How to Make Your Compost Bin
You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver or an electric drill.
First, drill several vent holes 2 to 4 inches apart in the sides of the bin. Anywhere on the top half of the bin is fine as long as it’s 2 to 4 inches below the top rim.
Now, drill a few vent holes in the bottom.
What Materials Can You Compost?
- Paper napkins & towels
- Freezer-burned vegetables or fruit
- Fresh or rotten veggies or fruit scraps
- Burlap coffee bags
- Pet hair
- Wood chips
- Lint from dryer & behind refrigerator
- un popped Popcorn
- Old spices & herbs
- Pine needles
- Matches (paper or wood)
- Seaweed and kelp
- Grass clippings
- Potato peelings
- Plain Paper or with black & white ink
- Hair clippings
- Stale bread
- Coffee grounds
- Wood ashes, Sawdust
- Tea bags and grounds
- Egg shells
- Fruit rinds
- Pea vines
- Houseplant trimmings
- Old uncooked pasta
- Garden soil
- Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
- Facial type tissue paper (not toilet paper)
- Tree bark
- Flower petals
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
- Expired flower arrangements
- Citrus wastes (like lemons, orange and lime)
- Old leather gardening gloves
- Tobacco wastes
- Nut shells
- Shredded cardboard
- Fish bones
- Shrimp, Lobster & crab shells (I personally avoid adding animal products)
- Toenail clippings
- Leather wallets
- Fruit pits
- Wooden toothpicks
- Stale breakfast cereal
- ‘Dust bunnies’ from under the bed
- Pencil shavings
- Wool socks,
- Artichoke leaves,
- Leather watch bands
- Brown paper bags
- Burned toast (not buttered)
- Animal fur
- Vacuum cleaner bag contents
- Old or outdated seeds
- Liquid from canned vegetables or canned fruit
- Dirt from soles of shoes
- soap scraps
- Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
- Cardboard (shredded)
- Grocery receipts
What compost material should you avoid?
Diseased plants, Animal products (meat,bones & dairy) they can create a foul smelling compost bin, Colored/color printed paper such as store circulars and weeds that root easily. I personally avoid all weeds.
How should you organize your compost bin?
Your bin should alternate between green material and brown material. Brown material would things such as bark, pine needles, newspaper, wood chips or lint. Green materials would be things such as fruits or veggies.
Set your bin in a sunny location and forget about it for 1 week. After 1 week I shake and turn the bin then mix the content together.
After initially making the bin, you will not need to give it much more attention than to flip it every couple of weeks. Continue adding materials to the bin as often as you accumulate them.
Using Your Compost:
Four to six weeks prior to the time that you’d like to use your compost, stop adding materials.
In about 8 weeks, your compost will be ready to use in your garden.