Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mammoth Compost Bin

My dear husband entertains most of my  notions when it comes to green living.  I have always wanted a compost bin but realized that with the sheer amount of leaves and needles we have in our yard, we needed a BIG compost bin.  My handy husband decided to take on this challenge and together we designed a four chamber compost bin! 
It took two (and a half) of us two days to complete this project.  We used only untreated wood knowing that it won't last more than a few years but we didn't want treated wood to leach into our compost that will be used in our organic gardens.  Here is what our finished product looks like!

My nontechnical side can't tell you the size of boards my husband used for each part.  If you are interested in that info just comment me and I'll get it for you!  We put together the backside first in our garage and carried it over to the back of the house where it was to stay.   From this stage we began to add the interior sides that divides the chambers.
We took a fair amount of time leveling everything out just so the right angles would actually fit together.  Once we had the sides leveled, we built them up after stabilizing the front side with boards.

The interior walls have slats for air circulation but are not moveable.  Only the fronts are removeable on our compost bins.  To create the slots in the front panels, we used 2x4's to "sandwich" the slats in place (didn't I tell you I was a technical writer).  To keep an even amount of space in between each slat, we used exterior screws drilled into the bottom of each slat.  We left them sticking out 2 inches.

Once they were stacked on top of each other, the screws rested on the previous board.  This was the simplest way we could think of to keep air flow a priority!
This is our finished product with the fourth bin's front slats off.  As you can tell, my children think it's a new playground!
And we couldn't have finished this project with out our little man, who is our half I had mentioned previously!


  1. Greetings, "Husband" here putting his 2 cents in....This project can easily be done in one day. It took us 2 days because we purchased the lumber late in the day then having to cut the lumber into their necessary dimensions. We didn't really have a plan of attack. The instructions were all in my head, and i expected my wife to read my mind, lol...So, with that being said, this project as big as it is, is very simple. Having an actual plan of attack makes a difference. We simply, "winged" it.

  2. that looks great! my husband and i are planning on building something similar!we usually "wing it" on most of our projects too :)

  3. Now that's a lot of compost! ;~P
    My hubby just made me a single compartment bin using some pallets he got from work. It is quickly filling up, so I am going to ask him to use the remaining pallets to add on and make it a 'double'!
    You must have an amazing garden!
    Visiting from Homestead Revival's Barn Hop.

  4. That is fantastic looking! I threw one together with some recycled lumber--it's ugly, but does the job. Yours is really nice-I envy you.

  5. I'm showing this to my husband. Those composters aren't going anywhere! They look like they could survive anything - very nice! And I like how the front looks easy to access. Thanks for linking up!

  6. Hi there,
    I just stumbled upon your blog posting on Pinterest. I am looking to build a community compost in my town and love how you've done yours. I was wondering what the measurement of the materials you used were.


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