As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I are trying to decrease our carbon footprint. Of course our goal is always to do so without breaking the bank. Early this spring while planning additions to our garden I stumbled upon information about composting. Composting seemed like a perfect addition since we already recycle. However, compost bins are a special kind of expensive! I mean really, what is SOOO special about that plastic bin to make it cost $90?!?! My dear friend, Pinterest, showed me option to build your own compost bins, but I still wasn’t convinced. After all, we would still be spending around $40 to buy the supplies needed.
One day, it dawned on me. Sitting underneath our deck were 2 trash cans. Our city recently distributed matching trash bins to all the residents, and our 2 trash cans no longer had a purpose. After a few Google searches, I found some pictures of trash can bins turned compost bins. My research into compost bins continued. So what is needed for a successful compost bin?
- “Brown” Items
Items you need:
- Trash can or even a large Rubbermaid container
- Large drill bit (1/2″ or larger)
- Bricks, cinderblocks or wood
Gather all your items outside. A concrete surface would be ideal to allow you to sweep up the plastic shavings. Decide where your compost bin will live. We chose just outside of our side-door exiting the garage because we knew it needed to be in a convenient location for us to actually utilize it.
- Take the lid off and set it on the ground. Begin drilling 1/2″ or 3/4″ holes every 2″-3″. The goal is to create a grid of holes on every surface of your container.
- Drill holes all around the container itself, even the bottom. Our trash can has wheels on the bottom which affected the grid, but you want the most airflow possible.
- Once you have a grid pattern over your whole container/trash can, clean up all the shavings. You aren’t reducing your carbon footprint by leaving plastic out in the environment.
- Begin filling your compost bin! Shred apart cardboard, newspaper and printer paper to create a 6″ layer of your “brown” items on the bottom of your bin. See other awesome items to compost below!
- Fruits, veggies & their peels
- Coffee grounds & coffee filters
- Tea bags
- Rinsed egg shells (crushed in your garden egg shells deter slugs)
- Grass clippings,
- Dead & dried leaves
- Shredded paper & newspaper
- Dryer lint, hair & pet fur
- Maintain your compost bin by watering once or twice weekly, enough to keep it moist. Aerate it by rolling it around the yard once a week- the benefit to a round trash can.
Compost No-No’s: Avoid dairy, meat, fats like oil, pet waste, pesticides and coal ashes.
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