DIY Two-Bin Composter

Disguise your decaying compost pile with this easy-to-build system that’ll keep your neighbors happy and your garden healthy.


All serious gardeners acknowledge the undeniable benefits of compost, and most maintain their own compost-bin system. If you want to join their ranks, you’ll need a system that can handle a large volume of material and allow easy access to finished compost. Serious gardeners tend to have lots of material from plant clippings and weeds, but they also seek out compost fodder from outside sources. They grab extra coffee grounds from the local coffee shop, and happily accept bags of their neighbors’ leaves.

Having a multiple-bin system allows gardeners to move partially composted material from the first bin into the second before filling up the first bin again. This movement aerates the pile and speeds decomposition, something very important to gardeners who not only have a large amount of material to handle, but also clamor for the finished product to use in their gardens.

This wood and wire bin offers great airflow, great capacity, and a good amount of critter-proof security. I also think this type of bin looks natural in the garden. If you build it as described, you’ll have a first-rate compost bin, but you could easily adapt these plans to construct a two-bin unit from wood pallets or leftover lumber. Cedar is naturally weather- and pest-resistant, and smells amazing when you cut into it. The dimensions listed below will work great if you use grade A cedar boards or pressure-treated lumber. If, on the other hand, you choose rough-sawn cedar from a specialty lumber yard, you’ll save a considerable amount of money (it’ll be about half the cost), but the boards will come in a larger size than dimensional lumber. With a little extra math, you can make rough-sawn cedar work.

The materials list for this project may seem intimidating at first glance, but you can easily make this bin in a weekend while allowing generous time for breaks.


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