Waste Not with a DIY Kitchen Compost Bin
Don’t let your kitchen waste go to waste – make this easy DIY kitchen compost bin.
Coffee, eggs and toast may sound like breakfast to you, but did you know these materials can feed your garden, too? With this DIY kitchen compost bin, you can reduce your household waste – like egg shells, coffee grounds and stale bread – and give a nutritional boost to your garden at the same time.
Follow our simple directions to create a compost bin that can turn everyday waste into fertile soil for your garden or indoor plants.
¼-inch drill bit
Charcoal air filter (optional)
Tape or glue
Decorative scrapbook paper
- Locate a sealable container you can use as a kitchen compost bin. Coffee containers, metal tins, plastic ice cream containers and small buckets all make great options
- Clean out your container with Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and water
- Use your drill and ¼-inch drill bit to create a series of holes in the lid of the container to allow air to circulate
Tip: Worried about odors? Emptying your bin weekly into a larger outdoor compost bin will keep stinky smells to a minimum, but you can also add a charcoal air filter from a home and garden store to the lid – just make sure it’s large enough to cover the holes.
- Measure the height and circumference of your container, and use scissors to cut scrapbook paper to the appropriate dimensions. Wrap the scrapbook paper around the container and glue or tape in place
- Store your compost bin somewhere you’ll remember to fill it, like under the kitchen sink or in a closet, cabinet, pantry or garage. Every other day, give it a shake or a stir to help circulate air
Filling Your Compost Bin
Almost anything that will break down can be used for compost, but exceptions include meat, fish, dairy and cooked foods. Items like coffee grounds, grass clippings and fruit and vegetable scraps will decompose faster, so try pairing them with items that break down more slowly, like newspaper or toilet paper tubes, to assist with the natural composting process.
Best Materials for Compost
- Paper towel rolls
- Egg shells
- Nut shells
- Seafood shells
- Coffee grounds
- Pencil shavings
- Old spices
- Stale bread
- Tea bags and grounds
- Pet hair
- Fruit and vegetable peels
- Shredded paper: napkins, mail, tissues, newspaper and paper towels
How to Use Your Compost
- Freshen up the Garden: From flowers to shrubs, mix your compost into the soil that surrounds the base of plants in your garden
- Feed Houseplants: Provide a fresh dose of nutrients for houseplants by blending compost into the top 1-2 inches of soil. Flower boxes, hanging flowers and patio plants can also benefit
- Host a Party: Gather friends for a planting party and catch up while potting seeds in your new soil