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How to Make a Garbage Can Compost Bin

How to Make a Garbage Can Compost Bin

I love going to garden shows! They are a wonderful place to gather ideas for future yard and garden projects.

At one show they were featuring a revolving drum composter.

The price? $200 for two plastic bins screwed together and mounted on a metal base to spin it.

I was sure with a little ingenuity we could come up with our own (much cheaper) version.

A quick internet search produced several plans… one of which wouldn’t cost us a cent to make because we already had everything we needed in the garage.

DIY Garbage Can Compost Bin



Affiliate and Ad Disclosure NoticeHere’s what you’ll need to make your own Garbage Can Compost Bin:


(*note that affiliate links have been supplied in the materials require for a one stop shop)


Step 1: Drill ventilation holes all the way around using a 2 1/8″ hole bit in the drill.


Step 2: Use a ¼” bit to drill drainage holes in the bottom of the garbage can.


Step 3: Cut 4″ squares of window screening. Apply hot glue all the way around the hole on the inside of the can. Press the window screen in place. Note: the glue will come through the screening so be sure to wear gloves for this step.


The bungee cord will hold the top on securely.


And there you have it… a rotating compost bin in three easy steps.

Rather than building a stand for it to rotate on, we simply roll it around the yard every few days to stir up the contents.

To get it started, I added a bit of top soil and some leaves and dried grass from when we raked the backyard.

Vegetable peelings were added next…


And coffee grounds to get it really cooking.


In a few weeks, we had our first batch of rich compost to add to the gardens.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information please check my Disclosures and Disclaimers page. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but it does help support this site.

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  • Adelino
    April 27, 2015 2:45 am

    There is no need to roll it around. Virtually all studies say that compost does not have to be mixed or turned. Thanks for showing people an easy inexpensive way to enrich their garden.

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  • novaandjet
    March 10, 2012 1:37 pm

    I love this idea! My PP (previously purchased) hehe bin didn’t work out as I expected and was left behind when we moved. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I’d like to link to your page if it’s ok.

    • supermom
      March 11, 2012 7:41 pm

      Sure Novajet… I’d love to have you link to this post.

  • atlantiscats
    June 14, 2011 12:36 pm

    OH! I will try this…. ONLY I’ll use a $2. garbage can from Big Lots :-)))

  • ChippewaCreek
    March 31, 2009 12:22 pm

    So what did that take you? Maybe an hour? That was making almost $190/hour!! Way to go!! You should post this in CiR, under the gardening area for those that don’t understand how easy it is to make your own compost! I hadn’t found an easy step by step process, just made one with a lot of smaller holes (didn’t want stuff falling out), but I think I could modify it by using the screening!! Thanks for the tutorial!

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