21 comments on “Cheap Garbage Can Composter

  1. Nice work. I built a similar garbage can composter but drilled 3″ diameter holes and glued fiberglass screen over them. Extra air goes in but still keeps pests out. Great post, good luck with your new bin.

  2. I like those additions.. I’m going to insert that into the post as an option. The wider holes would certainly help and at that size would probably require the screen. Thanks!

  3. Ourfriendben – I can’t believe how much some of the composters cost. I’m sure they work great, but I spend too much on my garden as it is. I think I’m going to make another of these composters this weekend….

  4. I did this too, but buried mine half way up…I have tons and tons of worms all through out. I can’t manage to tip and roll it, so we empty it into out wheelbarrow, mix, and return to the can. I love this how to!

  5. I like the idea of burying it. How big are the holes in yours? The worms showing up is a great thing and must hasten the decomposition probably after the heat has done its job…

  6. 8 weeks with a fully packed composter… I’m going to let mine go all summer as I’ll be adding to it and I used some manure that needs to burn up a bit.

  7. What a timely post. I have an old plastic garbage can that I’ve been thinking about getting rid of, it has developed a few holes in it and the handle is breaking off, otherwise it is fairly sound still. What better use could I find for it? I’m thinking about trying a few different options to see what might work best for us.

  8. Perfect! Go for it Cinj. You really can’t go wrong. Even if the composting doesn’t go aerobic, it will go anaerobic. It will be stinky and take longer, but it still works!

  9. Certainly looks a lot cheaper than the rolling composters I have seen for sale. Some of them were dreadfully expensive. Good luck! I await your efforts

  10. Now see… that’s what I’m missing. Black bears of any kind. I would much rather that a bear does the hole work for me than using a stinking drill!

  11. I am sooooo making one of these! Even better, we have a rolling trashcan that’d developed a few holes in the bottom. I think I’ll recycle it for this project and put something underneath it to catch the compost tea as it seeps out. Then it can be diluted and added to the garden! Thanks so much for the great tutorial!

  12. As a printer I can tell you that colored ink is pretty much no more or less toxic than black ink. Black ink uses “carbon black” to create the black pigment. Other ingredients are oil (very often from soy at this point), miscellaneous ingredients for anti-misting and low-rub (so that the pressman are not inhaling the stuff as it prints), and paraffin distillates (to allow the ink to dry faster; ink dries through absorption and evaporation, the paraffin distillates allow for quicker evaporation). Colored inks contain the same basic ingredients as black ink except they use pigments instead of carbon black to achieve the desired color. I was always told by my ink supplier that I could eat the ink if I wanted so I am pretty sure that none of the pigments are toxic for us. All in all, I think you can set aside your fear of colored inks in the compost pile.

  13. Pingback: 7 Things to Improve Your Soil « A Sonoma Garden

  14. think I messed up, I buried my kitchen veg, fruit scraps in a foot or so of soil all over my garden last 2 mos, just covered it with a tarp to prevent weeds, I live in puyallup wa. I have great soil, should I till before planting next mo? any help? please help? will it be o.k to plant ? dont wanna burn up my plants, thank you for your help

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