How to Make a Compost Bin from a Plastic Dustbin

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If you are a DIY enthusiast, here you will find a great idea. You can turn an old plastic dustbin into a nice compost bin. For most people, it is an extremely rewarding endeavor. You will like this post if you like the idea of turning an ugly thing into something beautiful. Read on to learn how to make a compost bin from a plastic Dustbin.

You can put yard waste and food waste into the composter. Using the right scraps, you can make high quality compost that can be put onto your flower beds. Visit a garden store and you will find that compost is not cheap at all. But making your own compost is a far cheaper option.

Whether you are a homesteader or a beginner composter, this compost bin is going to make your life easier. We will show you the procedure step by step.

Select your bin

You are reading this post. So we can assume that you are really interested in learning how to do it. That being said, here is the fundamental question: do you really have to use a plastic dustbin?

The answer is a hard NO. There are at least two different items that can be used for the same purpose. You can make a better use of your plastic garbage bin. You will also use the tight fitting lid of your bin.

It will not only keep the critters and bugs out of the bin but also keep the soil moist. And if you do not have an old plastic dustbin, you can buy one for just a few dollars.

Composting bins is not as hard as you may think. It can be done in many different ways. Making a DIY bin will take just a few hours. It can be labor-intensive or it can be simple and inexpensive.

Composting drills

Once you have selected your dustbin, you will have to drill a few holes in it. Use an electric drill machine to drill 10-12 small holes. They should be at the bottom of the bin. These holes will help circulate air into the plastic dusting.

Do not skip this step because aeration is of utmost importance.

The base

Now you will have to focus on the base of the compost. The base should be created at the bottom of the bin. You can use dry leaves or shredded newspaper as the base. Then the bottom of the bin should be covered with dry leaves.

Add more dirt to the base. Take some dirt and soil and sprinkle them on the base until you have filled about 50% of the container. Yes, you will have to get dirty if you really want to learn how to make a compost bin from a plastic dustbin.

Get the scraps

To compost food scraps, the scraps need to be added to the bin. For composting, you can use a few different types of food scraps. Be careful when doing so because you can not compost everything.

Here are a few Things that can be composted:

  • Vegetables and fruits scraps
  • Grass clippings
  • Nut shells
  • Leaves
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Shredded newspapers
  • Coffee grounds

Do not put the following items into your composting bin:

  • Pet waste
  • Fish or meat
  • Yard trimmings
  • Diseased plants

If you want to know how to make a compost bin form a plastic dustbin, you must choose the right scraps. As a rule of thumb, you should not use too acidic things such as lime. Eggshells can be used, because they are compost friendly. Once you have got the scraps, move on to the next step.

Stir everything

Now what you need to do is to stir everything in your dustbin. You can use either a shovel or a stick. The food scraps should be covered with the dirt. Do it carefully because covering the food scraps is of utmost importance.

To some extent the quality of your compost will depend on how you cover the scraps.  Stirring works because it helps the food scraps to break down quickly. By stirring them, you can also mix them together.  

Moisten the compost

To moisten your compost, you can use a spray bottle to spray down the compost. Lukewarm water is more suitable for the job. Make sure the compost is moist but do not make it too wet. It should not be dripping water.

If you spray too much water on the compost, it will smell horrible. And it will offend your nose. This stench is very bothersome and harmful for health.

What about some more drills?  

Now you have to drill some more holes in the lid. Drill these holes in the same way as you drilled holes in the bottom of the bin. Once you have drilled the holes, place the lid on the bin.

The lid should be securely tight so that air can easily flow in the bin. If you really want to learn how to make a compost bin from a plastic dustbin, you must ensure proper airflow. This is one of the most important parts of the process.


Finding a suitable location for your compost is important. Ideally, you should choose a shady area that is not very close to your house. If you do not have such a shady area in your vicinity, you can put it in your garage.

Just make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will make your compost dry, and in that case you will have to do everything once again, which will be very time-consuming.

It will be nice if you can put the bin behind shrubs or bushes. It has an added advantage: you can possibly cut back on your composting fees. If you are living in an area where paying composting fees is mandatory, you can consider putting your compost bin behind shrubs or bushes!

Collect the compostables

Whenever you get food scraps, throw them into the compost bin. Do not forget to stir them often. Along with your existing garbage and recycling containers, you can use a compost receptacle.

Remember, collecting your compostables is a matter of forming a habit. If you really want to learn how to make a compost bin from a plastic dustbin, you must understand the face that you can not do it overnight.


Patience is one of the requirements if you want to know how to make a compost bin from a plastic dustbin. Once you have officially set up your composting dust bin, you need to add some food scraps. But after then, there is not much to do. What you need to do is to exercise patience.

When will your compost be ready? How long will you have to wait? Up to 4 months. When adding food scraps, make sure the compost is restored. Everything will break down faster if you stir it continuously. It is a good idea to have a recycling container in your dining room or container.

In conclusion

If you are like most other DIY enthusiast, you will like this procedure fascinating. Now you know how to make a compost bin from a plastic dustbin, and you know that the process is very easy. Once you get started, you will enjoy every part of the process. Of course, if you are looking for the easy way out and don’t want to go through all the trouble of the do-it-yourself route, there are plenty of high quality ready-made compost bins available to purchase.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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