Compost Bin in Honor of Earth Day!

I know I  am a bit late since Earth Day was a few weeks ago, but this project just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the “to do list”.  Now that it is done, I am not sure why I waited.

I have huge piles of compost that sit at the end of our property (on the opposite end of where my garden is).  They are so big we use a tractor to flip them.  Everything goes in these bad boys, grass, leaves, weeds, trimmings and I used to throw my chicken poo too.

But I wanted to try to keep something simple, smaller and closer to the garden that wasn’t an eye sore.  I will only fill these with grass and chicken poo.  Equal green to brown.

This was so easy – I wish I would have done it sooner.

I ran to Target to buy two black (because I figured black would conduct more heat and break down the compost faster) plastic inexpensive trash cans.  They didn’t have any – gasp, shock can you believe Target didn’t have what I wanted?  I did find a cute outfit though. 😉

Anyway, I ran across the street to Wal-Mart and found the trash cans I wanted on sale no less for $13 dollars a piece.

I brought them home and took the cordless drill and a 13/64″ drill bit and drilled holes in straight line from top to bottom at about 6″ intervals.  I also added a few holes to the lids.

This took about 5 minutes for both cans.

The reason I am doing two cans is I figured one can compost while I work on filling the other.

I then filled the bottom of one with about 6″ of chicken poo, paper bags and shavings.

(Beware: Shavings take a while to compost, but they come with the chicken poo and I am not removing-YUCK!)

Luckily for me I placed the grass shavings in a wheel barrel the day before and that night it rained, so the grass was floating in water.  Gross right, well yes, but really good for the compost bin.  You want to add water to make the ingredients soggy, so I got to skip that step because the water came with the grass clippings.

I continued to layer with even parts brown and green using a shovel to help in the process.

I have been keeping the chicken poo and shavings in a trash can off to the side of the coop so I had plenty of brown to add to the compost bin and before I knew it the first bin was full.

I placed two cinder blocks on the ground and placed the first completed bin on top and secured the lid.  I even had a bit of materials left over to start on the second.  The whole process took about 25 minutes.

Now once a week I will take a peek to make sure that the contents are staying moist and with some assistance, cause the full can is heavy, I will roll the can around on its side to do a little mixing.  I’m keeping the cans right on the edge of my vegetable garden which sits right next to the chicken run.  It is perfect for easy access and because of the color and the tidiness, they are not an eyesore.

I’m hoping that by the end of July I will have a can full of compost, with the second ready by the end of August.

I’ll keep you posted!!

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Categories: Gardening, Spring

Author:Amy Stafford

I am the author, photographer and creator behind the blog A Healthy Life For Me. I am a food and fitness nut who loves Crossfit, Chocolate and Organic Gardening.

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2 Comments on “Compost Bin in Honor of Earth Day!”

  1. May 8, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    What an excellent idea about how to make garbage can compost bins!!! So much cheaper (if I can find them around here for cheap). Great tip, thanks!


  1. Homeowners listen up! The Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program is back to save you money. | dohmayn - May 8, 2012

    […] Compost Bin in Honor of Earth Day! ( […]

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