Craft Your Own Compost Bin

Composting is a great way to recycle produce that would otherwise be considered waste and tossed in the rubbish bin. It is made up of the decomposed organic matter from veggie scraps and other foods, and is full of nutrients that make it a great fertilizer in planting soil. Making your own compost bin is a simple way to reduce food waste while also feeding your garden. DIY bins can be crafted from used food containers such as milk jugs or large quart-sized cans – get creative with your container!


  • Container and lid – This can be anything from a milk jug to a mini or full-sized trash can
  • Catch tray
  • Soil
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Hammer and nails
  • Power drill
  • Scissors


1. Find the optimal location for your compost bin – many prefer to keep their bin near their trashcans or under the sink. Note: Keep the bin in a dry location to prevent mold.

2. Cover the catch tray with shredded newspaper.

3. 3. Use the power drill to create holes around the top of the bin and in the lid. Note: Certain types of containers may require a different tool to create the necessary holes.

4. Place the bin on top of the newspaper covered catch tray.

5. Fill the bin about a quarter of the way with soil.

6. Add a layer of shredded newspaper on top of the soil.

7. Begin composting!

Tips to start your compost journey:

  • When adding food scraps be sure they are as small as possible.
  • Add shredded newspaper after adding food scraps, so that you may be sure to keep a wet vs. dry balance.
  • Mix the compost at least once a week and add about one half a scoop of new soil so that the produce breaks down evenly.
  • The bin should never give off a rotten smell, so if it does this means the compost may be off balance and the bin is in need of adjustments. This could be a need for more holes for air flow or additional pieces of newspaper dry out the mixture.

What NOT to Compost:

  • Meat (includes poultry)
  • Dairy
  • Bones
  • Food wrappers
  • Plastic

What to Compost:

  • Organic food scraps including fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.
  • Small paper pieces including shredded newspaper, paper towels, napkins, etc.
  • Coffee grounds

Once you’ve generated enough compost, use it in your garden. Scatter it around your plants to help them thrive!