One of the first projects after we moved in was to build a compost bin. I took inspiration from Black and Decker’s guide but made it a bit more simple with less decorative components.
The first step was to build the main box structure. I used cedar for its pest resistant qualities and I sanded the wood as I assembled each piece.
Assembling the doors was the most challenging part of the process. The doors fit but it took a little adjusting to make sure they closed properly. After all of the hardware was assembled I painted the whole thing in shellac, which is non-toxic and won’t pass on chemical residue to the soil.
Next I added the ½” galvanized hardware cloth, leaving about a foot and a half on the bottom that I buried in ground to keep pests from trying to dig their way in (don’t skip this part, we had several intruders attempt it).
The top is where you drop food waste in, and you open the doors to turn the compost periodically! The previous owners had their own compost pile going in this same spot, so there were already worms and other bacterial processes working in our favor.
To be honest I’m still learning how to compost. My partner and I have disagreements all of the time (how many avocado skins are too many?!?). In general, I’ve found this guide from NPR really helpful.