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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Make Your Own Portable Compost Bin

Just because you rent, don't have a backyard or move every year doesn't mean you can't compost. Here are some creative ideas for making your own portable bin.

make your own compost bin

Photo: Tim Musson (Flickr)

This vermicomposting bin is made from two re-purposed 50 litre fish bins with lids.

Just because you don’t have a backyard doesn’t mean you can’t compost. All it takes is a little creativity, a few free hours and some power tools to make a portable bin

There are under-the-sink compost bins like the ones from Apartment Therapy and diyNatural.

There are homemade vermicomposting bins full of red wiggler worms made by Tim Musson and Leigh Bush.

And for folks who want to combine their composting with their growing, Garden Tower Project offers a bin perfect for a balcony or front porch.

  • under the sink compost bin

    Image 1 of 5

    This compost bin fits perfectly under the sink. Drill a few holes in the sides and bottom of the container, line the tray with newspaper, add dirt and your compost bin is ready to go.

  • under the sink compost bin

    Image 2 of 5

    Photo: diyNatural

    Can you spot the homemade compost bin? It's the red Folgers coffee container with the black lid. Simply drill holes in the lid and line it with a filter to capture any odors.

  • make your own vermicomposting bin

    Image 3 of 5

    Tim Musson made his own vermicomposting bin out of two 50 litre fish bins with lids. Both bins have holes in them allowing the worms to migrate from the soil in the bottom bin to the food in the top bin.

  • vermicomposting

    Image 4 of 5

    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Leigh Bush picked up this used ammo box from the Army Navy Surplus store. It's perfect for her red wiggler worms because it has ventilation and a hinged top. She layered the bin with moistened newspaper shreds on the bottom, then compostable food scraps and dirt, then more moistened newspaper shreds on top.

  • garden tower project

    Image 5 of 5

    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    This creative bin from the Garden Tower Project combines composting with growing. The composting tube down the center of the bin has holes which allows the worms to move from the compost to the soil. And you get tasty veggies out of it, too!

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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