Make Your Own Kitchen Compost Bin

DIY Kitchen Compost Bin

Once I considered composting I couldn’t get it out of my head every time I threw away pieces of vegetables as I was preparing a meal.  I kept thinking “Ugh, I have to get this set up so I can use all of this for my future garden!”  Well, the time has come!  I’m a strong believer that when you introduce something new to your life that requires you to DO something you have to phase it in as simply as possible.  Keeping this in mind, I’m going to start composting by making sure that it is very easy for me (and my husband) to discard the compostable items into a container in the kitchen that will then be brought outside to the main compost bin at our convenience.  My main considerations for my kitchen counter compost bin are as follows:

1.  Size.  Nothing too big and bulky.  Counter space is always at a premium when you do everything from cooking to arts and crafts in your kitchen!

2.  Style.  I have a touch of undiagnosed OCD.  I can stand clutter although things do get out of hand in the kitchen quickly.

3.  Affordability.  I don’t want to spend a load of money on this bin.  If I can find a Do It Yourself option I may consider it if it meets the “Style” criteria.  I’d rather save the DIY ugly stuff for outside in the backyard!

Browsing some other websites for DIY options I found the following:

Kitchen Compost Containers

1.  Old ice cream buckets.  The site mentioned keeping the bin under the sink.  I’m really interested in keeping it on the counter so no one forgets to use it.  I’m also concerned about smells.

2.  A modified old plastic coffee container.  Now, this one I like.  My crafty brain is already cycling through other ways to modify this into something that looks decent that I can put on the counter top.  The biggest obstacle is that I don’t drink Folgers coffee or any other coffee that comes in a container like that.  My husband and I do Crossfit and use a post-workout protein that comes in a large plastic container–perfect!  I’m going to keep this option in mind.  If I head down this road I’ll be sure to add a link here with a full description and pictures of how I did it!

3.  Trash can composter.  Not a chance.  This requires the use of a 13 gallon trash can indoors with another trash can inside it and then the whole thing is wrapped in a blanket.  This does not meet my needs.  This method sounds like a great idea for apartment living though!

 Outdoor Composting:

1.  “No turn” Composting.  No turn translates as “minimal maintenance” to me.  This sounds good but it is an open pile in the backyard.  Right now our temporary living situation puts us on a small plot of land with neighbors in relatively close proximity.  I think I would prefer to keep the compost contained and build this style of compost in my next home.

2.  Enclosed Bin Composting.  This sounds more like what I’m looking for.  Apparently the difficulty with this style is that it takes longer to compost since it doesn’t turnover.  If you get a tumbler style compost bin it will solve this problem.   It’s possible to maintain relatively high temperatures in drum/tumbler systems, both because the container acts as insulation and because the turning keeps the microbes aerated and active. An interior “paddle” aids aeration and prevents clumping of the composting materials. This greatly speeds up the composting process.

My inner Crossfitter is partial to THIS DIY Compost Tumbler!

I found a few ready-made options for Compost Tumblers:

3.  Stationary Compost Bins  This is quite a structure in my opinion.  A stationary bin like this wouldn’t work for me in my current location since we will be moving but I may consider this once we do move.  There are several DIY options that seem reasonable.  Once we move I’ll give one of them a try!  If you aren’t up to the DIY project there are several options to purchase Stationary Compost Bins.

HOLD THE PHONE!  STOP THE PRESSES!  THIS composter option allows you to harvest “compost tea” to water your garden with!  This is something I was thinking about as I browsed the DIY vertical garden options.  Seeing this makes me want to revisit the idea of building my own compost bin…..decisions decisions.

Click on the photo to view more details.

THEN, I figured out how to make a compost container that I could store under my kitchen sink—complete with carbon filter!  

Supply List:


  • 1 plastic container of some sort with a lid.  I’ve seen people use an old coffee container (like Folgers).  If you work at an office that has these or drink that kind of coffee then you’re all set.  I on the other hand, do not.  What I did have was a nice large protein powder container!  Finally found a use for them!  Another Crossfit perk :).
  • 1 charcoal filter.  You can pick this up at a pet store.  This will stop the odors from sneaking out of the holes in the container and into your kitchen.  I now add a spritz of my homemade air freshener that I made using Young Living Purification blend essential oils (gets the stink out).  Learn more here.
  • Drill
  • 1/4″ drill bit


You can leave the lid on the container and use your drill with the drill bit and gently drill 5 holes (or more) in the lid.  Be careful and don’t get too rough with this step.  I cracked my first lid because I pressed too hard.


Then take the charcoal filter and cut it to fit inside the lid.


No interest in making your own?  Check out these super cool kitchen compost bins!

Make Your Own Kitchen Compost Bin

DONE!  Easy enough, right?





    • Kathy says

      I’m wondering the same thing. It seems kind of small to be a composter the way I was thinking to use it.

    • Kara says

      I use mine as a convenient holding area for my compostable items before I take them outside to my main compost pile or bin. I empty it about every 3-4 days. It makes me actually compost since sometimes I am too busy to run outside with my compostable items immediately!

  1. Loretta says

    Love it! Thanks for sharing! Wish we could get by with a small one! We use a 5 gal bucket with a lid and dump it about once a week in the bin outside. We eat lots of fruits and veggies.

  2. Mike says

    Great instruction, i might try this over the weekend!

    how do you keep the charcoal filter on the inside of the lid?

  3. Jennifer G says

    I did this!!!! i didn’t drill my holes b/c i dont have a drill but i did crack the lid a couple times but i’m still going to use it… for those who dont have access to a drill, use a candle to warm up a nail and gently hammer away! thanks so much for this idea!!! i had to wait for my brother to finish his protein jug! ha!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current day month ye@r *