Set Up: Piles, Bins, Tumblers & More

There are many composting options, all of which excel at the same task of breaking down organic material into a rich soil amendment. Composting can be accomplished with a variety of methods, including: 

  • Bins
  • Piles
  • Pits
  • Trenches
  • Tumblers
  • Worms
  • Cover crops

Bins & Tumblers

Bins and tumblers come in a variety of different shapes and forms, and are made from numerous materials. Some materials you can use in building a compost bin includes...

  • Chicken wire
  • Garbage cans
  • Old lumber
  • Pallets
  • Plastics
  • PVC
  • Rain barrels
  • Snow fences
  • Many other items! What do you have lying around?

Bins are often preferred in urban settings, because they keep compost neat and tucked away while providing heat and moisture retention. Piles are generally easier to access and maintain if you have the space for them. Compost tumblers overcome some maintenance challenges of bins, but don’t have the benefit of keeping your compost in contact with the ground, a source of useful organisms vital in decomposition.

Master Composter DIY Worm Bin
Master Composter Worm Bin with Food

Bin Types

drawn collage of compost bin types
There are a wide variety in compost bins you can build on your own or purchase for use. What you use will depend on your personal preference, compost location, and materials available.