8 DIY Compost Bins That Won’t Cost You a Cent

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"Instead of throwing food waste in the trash, compost it! With these DIY compost bin ideas, you'll divert food waste from the landfill."

Many of us are guilty of letting leftovers go bad or buying more food than we can finish before the expiration date. However, it’s time to say goodbye to food waste and hello to composting organic waste. While you can buy kitchen counter compost bins, you can even make a DIY compost bin at no cost.

Composting keeps food waste out of the landfill. It’s the process of breaking down organic waste—such as food scraps, plant parts, and paper products—into nutrient-rich soil. And that soil can be given back to the planet, meaning the process is circular and zero-waste. It’s a win for the environment!

If you’re looking to live more sustainably, having an at-home compost bin may be in your future. Here are eight DIY compost bin ideas to help you get started.

8 DIY Compost Bin Ideas

1. Cardboard Box Compost Bin

Photo: Thriving Yard

Using a cardboard box as your compost bin is the ultimate zero-waste composting option. The box itself is biodegradable, and it’ll break down with the rest of your compost.

Plus, this option is affordable and easy—no need to invest in fancy composting bins. This process is completely natural.

2. DIY Compost Bin From Hardware Cloth

Photo: Goods Home Design

If you have outdoor space to utilize, try building a compost bin with hardware cloth. If you don’t already have this material at home, it can be found at almost any local hardware store, including Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Hardware cloth comes in different sizes, so you can make your compost bin as big or as small as you may need. And since the compost is outside, you won’t have to worry about stinking up the house.

3. Upcycled Trash Can Compost Bin

Photo: Naturally Loriel

For this DIY, all you need is a big trash can—the one that’s used for curbside garbage pickup and yard garbage. Make holes in the bin, and you’ve got yourself a simple DIY compost bin made from something you most likely already own.

4. DIY Compost Bin for Your Kitchen Counter

Photo: DIY Natural

Don’t have a lot of outdoor space? Whether you live in a smaller space or you prefer to have your compost bin on your kitchen counter, this DIY upcycles waste you most likely already have.

You can use an old coffee grounds container—or any sealable container—and make holes in the lid. Then, add some charcoal filters to eliminate odor, and you’re good to go.

5. Plastic Storage Container Compost Bin

Photo: Young House Love

Another compost bin you can make out of something you likely already own is this plastic storage container compost bin. And if you don’t have a storage container like this, check local thrift stores! Once you have your bin, make holes in the lid and add a brown base, some dirt, and food scraps.

6. Trench Composting

Photo: Farmers’ Almanac

This composting method is for those who have a garden in their yard and are looking for an easy way to compost.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, this method requires you to bury your organic kitchen scraps directly into the soil. This method also minimizes odors and eliminates the need for a large compost bin that isn’t aesthetically pleasing to have in the yard.

7. Wood Pallets Compost Bin

Photo: Kitchen Plot

If you’re looking to get really crafty, this DIY compost bin upcycles wood pallets. It may require a lot more power tools and extra steps to assemble this bin. However, the finished product is perfect for a large outdoor space.

8. 5-Gallon Bucket Compost Bin

buckets of apples

This common DIY compost bin only requires a 5-gallon bucket—which you may already have in your garage! Make holes in the lid and around the bottom of the bucket. Add in some twigs and food scraps and your compost bin is on its way.


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Instead of throwing food waste in the trash, compost it! With these DIY compost bin ideas, you'll divert food waste from the landfill.

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