This is my compost bin built primarily from remnants of my blown down fence after Hurricane Ike visited my neighborhood. It is about 75% recycled wood and wire screen, the remainder is store bought. Foot print dimensions are 30 X 36 inches and about 40 inches tall. On the left side you can see some wood slats drilled with holes for air circulation. The slats fit in a groove to allow access to the bin for turning and removal of material. At the base I installed access doors for removal of material – good idea but has not been real practical. I need to trim about an inch or so off the bottom edge to make it easier to swing the door open. I am still looking for a "round to it" to get pushed off center!

Why two bins? Well, originally I thought I would need two during the summer to keep up with the massive amounts of grass clippings we grass we generate in this God awful hot and humid climate. The nice surprise is that the grass heats up and decays so quickly that it never fills up. My son Joe came in the house one day after mowing and said the bin was too full. I suggested he look again in three days and see if it was too full. Three days later, plenty of room for the next week's mowing. I now use the other bin to hold the brown material needed to keep the ratio of green to brown material in a close to correct balance.

Training folks to use the bin – this is the tough part. I go back a few years to our Midland, Texas days. As always I had a bin in our Midland yard. I was coaching my wife to take the kitchen scraps, no meat, fat or bone – just veggies and bread, out to the bin or let me or one of the kids do it. Well we had a lesson learned experience. Kathy was making mashed potatoes and had a sink full of potato peelings. Instead of gettting them out to the bin she attempted to process them through the garbage disposal unit. Potatoes are very starchy and stick together – they plug up the disposal discharge line -SOLID! The repair is just some minor plumbing work easily enough done. I received a promise to never try that again. Well – the promise did not last long and I was under the sink again to remove the starch bound mass of peelings. The lesson has now been learned – that was probably 10 years ago and I have not been under the sink for that repair again.

What goes to the bin – most kitchen scraps over and above what goes to the worm bin, grass clippings (the green stuff), leaves (the brown stuff), mulched up yard waste (chopped up through the mower to increase surface area allowing quicker rotting) and anything that will decay.

A definitive guide is found in the book titled " Let it Rot" can't remember the author's name but it is a great source of composting info. I have misplaced my copy. My beds are healthier and more productive, the soil is easier to work and I have an abundance of large worms to take to the lake – cat fish love my worms!!! PS – not the little guys in my worm bin…… I need them doing their job of making wonderful worm poop.


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