How to Build Your Own Compost Bin and Make Compost at Home: A Practical Guide

Updated on April 24, 2019
Nimesh De Silva profile image

Nimesh De Silva has been an online blogger for about 5 years and in an avid music lover.

Create your own compost at home to save money and reduce waste.
Create your own compost at home to save money and reduce waste. | Source

If you are growing your own plot of vegetables or fruits, you may find the need for constant manuring to get a better harvest each time. If you don't use fertilizer in each harvesting season, the harvest may eventually deplete and you wouldn't get a return for your effort. But adding fertilizer constantly may be draining your budget. Some fertilizers are so expensive that using them on a home garden isn't financially viable. So what is the alternative? Compost fertilizer!

Advantages of Compost

  • Easy to make, even at home
  • Very cheap
  • Provides basic nutrients for plants
  • Reduces household garbage
  • Organic
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Non-toxic
  • It attracts red worms, which enrich the soil through their waste.

Different types of compost bins.
Different types of compost bins.

Step 1: Creating the Compost Bin

It is quite important to get the composting bin correctly set up. Go ahead and look at the above picture and get an idea as to what are your options in creating your compost bin. There's no need to buy compost bins, however, as you can easily build one with day-to-day tools.

An easy compost bin can be created with a wooden box or crate that is used for transporting vegetables and fruits by farmers. You may be able to find one at a grocery store or from street seller or farmer. These wooden boxes are ideal for composting, though they may decay in about 1–2 years.

Some key points to consider when creating your compost bin:

  • The compost bin should be of a manageable size.
  • There should be gaps or holes in the bin for good ventilation. This is critical for a rapid decomposing process.
  • There should be a door at the bottom of the bin to extract the compost.

Notice the small door at the bottom of the bin.
Notice the small door at the bottom of the bin.

Step 2: Filling the Compost Bin

All natural items—such as leaves and grass, paper, cardboard, fruit and vegetable peels, paper bags, and hay—can be put in the bin for decomposing.

The following items, however, should NOT be put in your compost bin due to hygienic and health reasons:

  • Meat and meat scraps
  • Any plastic items
  • Ceramic, clay, and glass items
  • Fiber, clothes, synthetics, and metals
  • Dead creatures
  • Human or animal feces
  • Certain food items, such as bread, pasta, cooked food, and oils

The above items also take a longer time to decompose and may slow down the overall decomposing process.

What can, and cannot, be composted.
What can, and cannot, be composted.

Step 3: Managing the Compost Bin

These three elements are also crucial components to help the decomposing process and speed up the results.


A sufficient amount of ventilation is required for the items to decompose fast. You cannot add air. But the idea is to let the composting items have enough air inside of the bin. So don't pack your bin to the brim. And if you can turn and mix the inputs in the bin once in a while, it will really help the air flow reach the insides of the bin.


Liquids are essential for the decomposing process. So make sure to add some water into the bin daily or every other day. Water itself will carry oxygen inside the bin and speed up the composting process. Also, water will help the growth/birth of worms that will help the decomposition immensely. (So if you see an innocent red worm in the bin, don't remove it. They are so much help). Rather than filling up the entire bin and then adding water, you can add a little bit of water with each layer of things you put in the bin.


The sun provides heat. Heat is energy. Heat is essential for the items in the bin to decompose. So make sure your bin is placed in a spot that gets at least a few hours of sunlight every day.

The Importance of Red Worms in Compost

Red worms for composting is as essential as any of the things I have mentioned thus far. So please don't remove any red worms if you see them in your compost bin.

Red worms eat the garbage in the compost bin and excrete a very rich humus. This humus is extremely rich in minerals and nutrients. Also, worms eating out the garbage accelerates the process to get compost.

Normally, red worms grow in garbage. They are also abundantly found in muddy areas. So, if you spot some, go ahead and pick up a few of them and put them in your bin.

Ideally, this is what collecting compost should look like.
Ideally, this is what collecting compost should look like.

Step 4: Collecting the Compost

After some time, you can check for the level of decomposition at the bottom-most level of your bin. If the things you put in have broken down into to tiny (almost soil-like) particles, that means your compost is ready. Use the bottom door or opening to extract the compost so that the level above it will replace the extracted compost and provide space on top to add further things to compost.

After you extract the compost, you can either spread it over the soil on your vegetable or fruit garden or loosen the soil around each plant and insert the compost into the soil. The latter method is more effective, since it helps to absorb the compost directly into the soil without being washed away when you water the plants.

This is how your compost should look if you have done it perfectly.
This is how your compost should look if you have done it perfectly.

What kind of compost bin do you use?

See results

© 2013 Nimesh De Silva


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      7 years ago

      Thanks. Then I believe I have met my goal for this hub. :)

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      7 years ago

      Good guide on how to make compost at home. This is very useful for those that want to make compost at their own houses.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)