Small Homemade Compost Bins

A portable mini-composter built from scrap lumber can be easily sized for single-member households.

Compost Bin

This homemade compost bin is lightweight and portable, which makes it easy to move around a garden.

Photo by Jeffrey R. Wasilowski

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I’ve been developing my off-grid homestead for four years, but I’ve wrestled with what to do for a compost bin. Because I’m the only person who lives here, I didn’t want to tackle plans for bins that would be way too big for my one-person household. Plus, I didn’t want to purchase anything.

This spring, I started using a mini-bin that I built of scrap lumber. My homemade compost bin is 18 inches wide by 36 inches long, and it has a removable metal screen on top to deter mice and flies. It works even better than I had hoped!

I dedicate this bin to kitchen scraps, including eggshells, tea and coffee, along with spoiled vegetables. I’ve moved my bin around the garden four times this year to spread the organic goodness, and I’m going to store the bin in my greenhouse during winter. I figure the greenhouse will be warm enough to encourage the waste to break down rather than freeze solid. The only downside to this system is that I’m sacrificing a few square feet of garden and greenhouse area, but I’ve decided it’s well worth it.

Jeffrey R. Wasilowski
Carson, New Mexico