Composting is a great way to recycle kitchen and yard scraps, turning them into a rich soil conditioner and fertilizer

Once you have the basics of composting down, it is an easy process that is highly valuable to any gardener. The first step is to decide on the style of compost bin that will suit your property and composting needs best. There are two basic types of compost bins, those that are stationary and those that spin.

Spinning compost bins offer one main advantage over stationary bins. Organic materials compost more quickly when they are turned frequently and the spinning action helps to activate the decomposition process by adding oxygen to the material.

While you can purchase compost bins in all shapes and sizes from almost any home and garden center or you can save a lot of money by making your own. Here are simple instructions that anyone can follow to make your own compost tumbler bin. This bin is nothing fancy but will do the trick quite nicely and creates wonderful mulch in very little time.


  • Plastic garbage can with tight-fitting lid
  • 2 bungee cords the same length as the can’s diameter
  • Drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Duct tape


  1. Make about 20 evenly spaced holes on the top bottom and sides of the garbage can.
  2. Set the bin upright and fill with compost materials. You will want to alternate between high carbon materials like straw and nitrogen materials like fresh grass clippings. Follow these layers with a layer of garden soil. Repeat until the can is about 3/4 full.
  3. Moisten the material using a garden hose on mist.
  4. Secure the lid with the bungee cords. Cross the cords over the center of the can and make holes to secure each end.
  5. Turn the composter on its side and roll it around the yard with your foot.
  6. Roll daily, being sure that composter makes 3 full revolutions. Repeat this for 3 weeks.
  7. Open the can every 4 days to check moisture level of material. It should be slightly wet but  not soaked. If you squeeze and the compost crumbles in your hands, add more water.
  8. The tumbler will heat up as the material inside decomposes.
  9. After 3 weeks, transfer the compost to a pile so you can start your next batch.
  10. Allow the compost to cure in a pile for 2 weeks before using.
  11. For fine compost, sift out the larger parts.

Because these tumblers are so inexpensive to make, you can have several going at the same time. Not only will you create some amazing rich compost to feed your garden but you will also get some great exercise spinning your bin around the yard.