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How to Make Your Own Indoor Compost Bin

Updated on April 18, 2019

Making an indoor compost bin

Compost bins are not just for those who have large spacious backyards, big families or gardens. They are for anyone who wants to compost or do something good for the environment. Indoor composting is a great alternative for those who live in apartments and those who live alone or have small families. You don't have to be a Gardner but if you are even more reason to try this. Making your own compost bin is an inexpensive way to get started. It doesn't cost much and you can probably find some of what you need lying around already.

What you will be needing

When making an indoor compost there are some basic things you are going to need. You can use what works for you so if you have something similar to what's on the list go ahead and use it.

  • a five-gallon bucket, rubber maid tub, large plastic wear or small trash can
  • Some dirt a cup or two is just fine
  • Green stuff plant clippings leftover veggies or grass clippings
  • Water just enough to get everything damp

So it has been said that you need equal parts brown stuff and green stuff but I think working with whatever you have is just fine. It has worked for me and I don't really keep track.

This Was Such a Helpful and Fun Video

What to do

The first step is to open up your container. The second step is to put your green stuff and brown stuff inside. Pour some water in just to make it damp. Then you mix it all up. Now you just put the lid on you don't have to seal it tightly because a little air flow is good for it. The lid is mostly to keep unwanted pests out.

Additional Pest Control

In my experience with indoor composting, I have found the biggest challenge I face in the summertime (even with the lid on) is unwanted pests mostly small bugs attempting to infiltrate my compost. Normally I would not mind if it were an outdoor bin, but the only critters I want in my compost are worms. Not everyone I have talked to has had this same problem so it may not be an issue for you. The good thing is that I have found an excellent solution. Bugs can get into small spaces easily, but they are not so great at getting around screens. I put a screen between the lid and the dirt as a deterrent and haven't had any problems since.

What to keep out

  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Bones
  • Processed snack foods
  • Beverages other than water
  • Animal waste
  • Breads
  • Dairy


What to put in

  • Grass clippings
  • Plant trimmings
  • Dead leaves and plants
  • Fruit and veggie scraps
  • Peels and shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper
  • Cardboard

What if you want worms in your compost?

Why worms? They are good for your garden. If you don't have a garden they still help break down the compost at a faster pace. If you do decide to add worms there are just a few more things you will need. The first would be a drill the second is some newspaper scraps and the third is a lid, tray or another bucket to put the first in.

What to do

You drill holes into the bottom of your bucket just a few lining the edges and one in the middle. Place the newspaper in with the rest of the ingredients. Place the bucket in its tray and then dampen with water. That is all you need to do to make a compost bin worms included.

What Kind of Worms?

You can use just about any kind of worms in your compost, but I try to pick out whatever kind are naturally occurring in the area that I live in. That way it's not a big deal if they get into my garden.


How to add worms


Whether you live in a colder climate, an apartment or have any other obstacle that prevents you from composting the traditional way, indoor compost bins are the perfect solution. They are small, convenient and easy to use. If you are looking for a way to reduce your food waste. Indoor composting might be for you.

© 2013 Anne Dekoven


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