Monday, April 19, 2010

Make your own: Compost Bin

My project this week is to make my own compost. I live in an apartment building and have to share my yard with 4 other families. I'm sure they wouldn't be to happy seeing (and smelling) all my compost items, so I looked into getting a compost bin- and there expensive!

That got me thinking, why can't I just use a Rubbermaid bin? I've been doing some research and found that it is very possible to do, and this is how:

What you'll need
  • Rubbermaid Bin (stander size)
  • "Browns" or Carbons (Dead leaves, brown grass clippings, wood, sticks, shredded newspaper, dead plants, rice, pine needles)
  • "Greens" or Nitrogen (Fresh grass and other plant clippings, fruit and vegetable parts, coffee grounds (with or without filter), tea bags, wool, human hair)
  • Extra newspaper
  • A good knife
1. Clean the Rubbermaid bin. Make sure to remove all stickers and labels. Take your knife and cut holes along the edges of the bin's lid, about 1 centimeter wide. Next, cut a few holes in the middle of the lid. These holes will allow air and moisture to circulate.

2. Turn your bin over and cut some drainage holes. Also put two slits in each corner, about a half-centimeter wide and 3 centimeters long. They should be big enough for drainage, but not enough to allow your compost to spill out.

3. Rip up your extra newspaper and put it in the bottom of the bin. The shreds should be no more than 1 inch thick, and should fill up the container about 5 to 6 inches.

4. Gather all your "browns". Place them on top of the newspaper. Your bin should be about one-third to one-half full.

5. Gather your "greens". Place these on top of your browns. Your compost bin should be almost full. Make sure to leave a little room at the top though.

6. Place your bin outside (if it isn't already there). If you must place it directly on a deck, a second extra lid can be placed underneath as a drip tray.

7. Water. Make sure it's damp, but not so wet that everything is floating around. If you live in a rainy climate, you can let nature take its course and wet your compost for you.

8. Wait.

9. In about 3-4 weeks, go out and give your compost a good turn. This will allow the microbes that are decomposing everything to spread around. Repeat every 3-4 weeks.

10. Within 6-8 months, you should have a brown, earthy-smelling mixture. That's your compost!

(compost info mostly taken from You Grow Girl)

1 comment:

*Crystal* said...

Thanks for the post! I've been wanting to make my own compost bin for quit some time. This post was realy simple to follow. I think this will be my project for tomorrow!