Outdoor Living

Basic Facts about Compost Bins and Systems

How does your compost pile grow? By bin or by barrel? In a pit or in a compost tumbler?

Kitchen Compostable Bucket MaterialsThe available options are remarkably efficient and affordable. All you need to do is to decide which composting bins or systems could best be suited to your personal preference and allowable yard space.


You can even create a composting pile in a corner of your yard by just designating it as such.

  • This will become the space where the grass clippings and kitchen refuse are tossed.
  • Add a little water every few days and aerate the pile of compostable material with a pitchfork once or twice a week and you will soon have some usable garden compost.


There are some simple compost systems that can be created from a collection of wooden shipping pallets or a few feet of chicken wire.

  • Other compost bins may be constructed from bricks or concrete blocks.

A hole in the ground can serve the purpose if you want to really keep your composting system basic and natural.

  • While the ‘hole in the ground’ approach is certainly simple the routine maintenance of these composting materials may be a little more awkward to handle.

Compost Bin Materials

Trenching Method

This is an easy way to recycle your kitchen scraps.

  1. Just dig a small trench in your garden that is about 6″-10″ deep.
  2. Add the kitchen scraps to this ditch and then cover with soil.
  3. The scraps will breakdown over time and add vitamins, minerals and other essential elements to the dirt.
  4. Then you can plant flowers or vegetables in this amended soil.

Compost Gardening Trenching Method

Most people prefer the commercially marketed composting systems for home use.

  1. With a 1 bin composting system it is easy for anyone to get this process started.
  2. These systems often come with their own slide out trays or easy access openings at the bottom of the bin.
  3. This allows you to harvest the finished compost as soon as it is ready to be used.
  4. Add new materials to the top of the bin and let nature do the rest of the work for you.


Multiple Compost Bin Systems

These are ideal for anyone with the yard space for 2 or more composting bins.

  • With additional bins at the ready you can transfer the composted material from one to the other.
  • This will help you aerate and turn the decomposing materials without a lot of extra work.
  • As the fresh compost is added to the first bin the last bin in this system will have your finished compost waiting to be used.

Compost Tumblers

Compost Bin Tumblers

A tumbling compost system is designed to be spun, rotated or turned every 1-2 days.

  • Some of these have a handle on the side that you can crank.
  • This will help combine and aerate the materials that are inside and many people feel that this design speeds up the decomposition process.
  • There are a few of these rotating compost systems that can create ‘finished humus’ in a matter of 3-6 weeks.

With a wealth of composting bins and systems to choose from there is certainly one that you can add to your home and garden.

Whitney is an expert in compost gardening techniques and in using compost bins and other compost supplies.

The following two tabs change content below.
Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.