What Is Composting?

Composting bins and barrels come in many different shapes and sizes, it’s all a matter of which one is right for you. The bin should be big enough to allow you to ‘turn’ the compost with a shovel or pitchfork, as this promotes aeration and speeds composting. Looks great (and very good instructions), although you can actually start a compost bin using something as simple as an outdoor garbage can. Compost needs air flow in order for aerobic bacteria to thrive and break down waste. The Jora JK270 Insulated Composter simplifies and speeds up the process of making compost. The yard-waste bin will take longer and be more dependent on weather conditions. Ideally, a compost bin needs to have sun to warm it, and a water source close by. Pick your location with these requirements in mind.

The portable bin is then put in a new location, refilled with materials that are not finished composting and the process begins again of adding new waste. Compost is the perfect thing to spread around when you are creating a new garden, seeding a new lawn area, or planting a new tree. Gently bury the food in a different section of the bin each week, under the cardboard.


If a compost bin is out in full sun, it will need to be watered regularly to keep it moist, so either way, whether from rain or from hose water, I think some nutrient leaching will be inevitable. In this video, Theviolist18 describes how he made his compost bin and uses bungee cords to secure the lid. In North America, pallets commonly measure 40 x 48 inches, which creates a bin size that is ideal for composting. Add a handful of them to an active compost pile and they’ll be dead in an hour.

You can turn the compost by emptying out the bin and then putting the material back in the bin. The University of Missouri Extension has instructions on building a rotating barrel composter, wire mesh holding unit, and a snow fence holding unit. This is an easy indoor compost option for people who need something cheap, customizable and space friendly. The wood and wire 3-bin unit is a really nice setup that helps to keep composting nice and orderly in the urban or suburban backyard. Attach a wooden turning lever to the end of the barrel using large sheetmetal screws or a couple of bolts.

Ideally an educational workshop or a composting demonstration site are part of the bin distribution program. But if you keep adding new waste on top of the compost that’s in development, it takes longer to get quality compost that you need to sprout spring seeds, fertilize a summer garden, plant fall bulbs or add a layer of mulch to a dormant winter garden. Rotating bins are usually cylinders that are raised off the ground on a support structure and have a handle at the side that allows the whole bin to be turned. Collect dried leaves and cut grass – this is a simple mixture that will not attract pests in your exposed compost bin.

I am a big fan of in situ composting (basically creating a composting system right next to gardens, trees, shrubs etc that will directly benefit from the compost being produced), so I’ll be including instructions on creating those sorts of systems as well. There is satisfaction in building a compost bin from scrap or recycled materials, so check what materials are available before you settle on a construction style. Choose a trash can with wheels to make your compost bin easier to move when full.