Making a Compost Bin with Cinder Blocks - Cristi Fry

What You'll Need
Cinder blocks
Water hose
Dark colored paint

A homemade compost bin made of cinder blocks will outlast other bins. It can be made to any specification for both large and small amounts of compost. 


Step 1: Location and Design 

Pick a location that is flat and does not have water pooling. Make sure that it is big enough to build a structure.  

At this point, consider the size of the bin. If the compost is for small gardens or fertile land, it does not need to be large.  Take into account that a 2 foot by 3 foot bin will yield enough compost for a 6 foot square garden. 

Next, consider where the bin will open. The bin’s back should face wherever the strongest winds generally come from. This will keep any material being put in the compost from blowing out on a windy day since the fourth side is open. 

Step 2: Preparing the ground 

Dig a trench that is the length and width of your planned cinder block walls. It is optimal to dig the trench at least 3 to 4 inches deep. Use the level to makes sure that the ground is balanced so the structure will have a balanced base for support. Spread no more than 1 inch of sand into the trench. This will help to lay even blocks if the ground is not perfectly level.


Step 3: Lay the block 

Starting with the back wall lay the cinder blocks end-to-end. Use the hammer to tamp down on bricks until the top row is even. Check the blocks with the level. On the second row place your first block half-way past where you started the first row. The blocks will continue to meet end-to-end. When the last block is ready to be placed, it will need to broken.  


Step 4: Breaking Cinder Block 

Get the chisel and hammer to break a cinder block. First mark where the block needs to break and then place the chisel in the mark. Tap lightly on the chisel with hammer. Do this all the way around the block until it breaks apart. 

These pieces will then be placed at the beginning and end of the second row. 

Step 5: Continue Laying Block

The third row will be lain the same as the first. The block will begin at the beginning of the row placed end-to-end. On the fourth row follow the method used for the second.  Continue rows until you have the desired height. 


Step 6: Laying Sand 

Pour sand into all the open spaces of you cinder block walls. Once the sand is poured, pour water into the holes to help compact the sand. The sand will help provide the wall with structural support. Placing steel poles or pipes into the cinder block holes can also add to the support. 


Step 7: Paint Your Bin  

Paint your bin a dark color of exterior block paint. This will allow the structure to blend into the surroundings.