Making a Compost Bin out of Old Tires

What You'll Need
Old tires
Utility knife, sharp with extra blades

Creating a compost bin from old tires is a great way to recycle used materials. Tires do not degrade well in landfills so reusing them for composting is a viable alternative. 

Composting is another way to recycle unwanted materials, particularly food and yard waste. Through the composting process, healthy soil is created for use in gardens on lawns and around trees. 



Step 1: Acquiring the Tires

First, decide how many bins will be needed and how many tires it will take to create all of the bins. 

If the tires needed are not readily available a few things can be done. Ask family and friends, post wanted ads or check out the local dump. If it is at all feasible, gather large truck tires. Obtain 3 to 6 tires for each bin. 


Step 2: Prepare the Tires

To prepare the tires for creating a compost bin, it is necessary to cut the sidewalls off each of them. The sidewalls are the sides that do not touch the ground when the tires are used on a vehicle. Be sure to do this in a way that the rest of the tire is still sturdy. 


Step 3: Turn the Soil

Before installing the compost bin to the desired area, turn the soil where it will be located. This helps to aerate the soil and create a better place for composting. Once the composting process is underway, regular attention should be given to turning the pile on a minimum of a weekly basis.


 Step 4: Stacking the Tires

This process is done one at a time, as needed. Do not stack them all at once. Place the first tire in place. Once this tire is filled with compost, add another tire. Keep going like this until it is the height that is wanted. This could take days, weeks or months, depending on how much food and yard waste is added, and how often. 

It is good practice to stack these two or three tires high and then start a new bin. These low stacks will make it easier to turn the compost in the tires without the need to re-stack them. Many of these can be made in one area.

It is also possible to stack these five or six tires high. After several weeks you will need to re-stack them, starting from the top tire and working your way down. As each tire is re-stacked in turn, take the compost from that tire and put it back into that tire where it is now. Tire off the stack first, then compost. Tire then compost. After several more weeks the compost is ready to use. 

Using recycled materials is a great way to build a better garden. Recycled tire use is one way to accomplish this in an affordable manner. Tire compost bins aid in the composting process, are kept out of landfills and are more attractive than bins made from old pallets or garbage cans.