Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Archive for May 27, 2011

Build a Compost Bin!

compost bin

Top View of Compost Bin with Mesh Wire Divider

Last week I posted a “teaser” blog about the compost bin that I had built, so this week I’m posting photos of the composter, along with some directions how to build it and the supplies you may need. I should say that I just researched the topic a little and simply modified some other composter designs, and I’m no expert. I advise you to find a design out there that meets your needs and go with that one. My design is not necessarily the best for every situation.

Some features that we wanted in our compost bin were:

– control of compost (moisture, odor, access by animals, etc.);

– convenience/easy access (for us, not rodents!);

– sturdy design;

– recycled materials

I was able to achieve most of these goals, although the compost bin is not entirely built of recycled materials. But it’s sturdy, we can control the moisture and odor in our compost bin and it is conveniently located near our home with an easy access, hinged lid on top.

inside of compost bin

Removable 1X4 Planks at End of Compost Bin

The dimensions of the composter are approximately 4′ wide X 2.5′ deep X 3′ tall. I don’t think the dimensions are all that important, and you can build it any size. I used mostly 2X4 planks, along with plywood for the sides and bottom. I created a side panel that contains removable 1X4 planks. I used mesh wire to divide the entire composter into 2 separate compartments, since you’ll probably have multiple piles of composting material becoming ready to use at varying times.

I made the lid with 2X4 inch planks and corrugated clear plastic sheets. I added hinges onto the lid so that it would open and close easily. And if you build the lid to fit tightly on the composter, you theoretically won’t have any problems with rodents.

One other feature that I’ve added that may or may not get used: I put a small strip of mesh wire on one end of the composter that would allow compost tea to drip out of the composter into a drip pan (for use on the garden). Not sure if this will actually be useful or not, since this entire undertaking is somewhat experimental.

List of Materials Needed to Build Your Composter:

– 2X4 planks;

-1X4 planks;

– 1/4 or 1/2 inch plywood;

– small mesh wire;

– plastic corrugated sheet;

– wood screws (1.5 – 3.0 inch)

Side View of Compost Bin

Side View of Compost BinClear Corrugated Material Keeps Compost DryTop View of Compost Bin with Mesh Wire Divider