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.

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Ray11505738 Ray11505738 on May 28, 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 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?


Join the conversation

2 of 19 comments
  • Lynda Carnes Lynda Carnes on Jun 07, 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 Lori Mariani on Jun 13, 2018

    Practical! Thanks!