Cheap DIY Compost Tumbler

We created our Compost Tumblers for about less than $20 per bin. It's an easy DIY project that can be completed in about half an hour. All the supplies need can be easily purchased at your local big box retailer or home improvement store.
Supplies Needed:
One 15 Gallon trash can with lid (black)
2 bungees
A drill and 5/16 bit
Punch air holes on the bottom of the trash cans and in the sides of the can every eighteen inches or so.
Fill the can with the 1:2 ratio of browns to greens (about 3/4 full), adding water after each layer.
Put the lid on and bungee it to the handles.
Once a week or so, lay the can on it's side and roll it across the yard to stir up the composting material inside.
After about a month, open the can to check progress and add water if needed. The compost should be finished in about 4-6 weeks.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Ray11505738
    on May 29, 2017

    Awesome and most people won't even know you are making compost. Where I live they don't approve the compost tumblers you can purchase in our yards. However garbage cans with covers are a must. Thanks
  • Gail Fancher
    on Apr 10, 2018

    What’s the purpose of the air holes? Doesn’t the water drain out? I want to use smaller cans due to my strength. Would you put air holes in 1/3 of the way up the can instead?

    • Vicki Bushert
      on May 18, 2019

      And no you want the holes on the bottom and bottom sides. As it's the material that falls to the bottom that needs airflow

Join the conversation

2 of 19 comments
  • Lynda Carnes
    on Jun 8, 2018

    Thank you so much! I've been wondering if there wasn't a cheaper way to do this. I need compost, but I have a small space & didn't want to build a big compost space where I would have to shovel the compost to turn it. I don't have the strength to do that myself, but I could roll a trash can! The store bought tumblers are out of my range!

  • Lori Mariani
    on Jun 14, 2018

    Practical! Thanks!

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