How to Make an Inexpensive Bokashi Bucket

mastermaq/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Bokashi composting is a great way to increase the amount of food waste you can compost. In a Bokashi system, previously "un-compostable" foods such as meat and dairy, are able to be composted (fermented, really) and then buried in your garden or compost pile, or added to your worm bin.

You can purchase pre-made Bokashi bins. These typically consist of a bucket of some kind, a tray to allow for drainage, and a lid. They can cost thirty dollars or more, depending on which bells and whistles they have. And while they work great, there is a much less expensive option that you can make yourself.

These homemade bins may not be as nice looking as some of the pre-made ones, so that's something to keep in mind. But they work just as well and cost about a third of the price. All you need are two five gallon plastic buckets, one lid, a drill, and (if you really want one) a spigot from the plumbing section of the hardware store. If you choose to include a spigot, that will be the only tricky part; you don't need one, though, so feel free to make a Bokashi bucket without one.

Here's how to make your own Bokashi bucket.

  1. On the bottom of one bucket, drill 20 to 30 holes with a 1/8 to 1/4 inch drill bit.
  2. Set the drilled bucket into the other bucket, which you have not drilled holes in.
  3. Cover the bucket with a tight-fitting lid. Usually, you will find matching lids near the buckets in the home center.
  4. Start adding your food scraps and Bokashi to the bucket.

A few tips for using this system: the bucket needs to be air-tight for the contents to ferment properly. Remember, Bokashi is an anaerobic system. If you find that the lid you've purchased doesn't fit as tightly as you'd like, place a cloth or old t-shirt over the top of the bucket, and then snap the lid on. The extra bit of fabric will make the bucket more airtight. This basic system doesn't have a spigot, but it would be easy enough to harvest any liquid by lifting the top bucket off of the bottom bucket, and pouring any liquid that has collected in the bottom bucket into a separate container.

All together this system should cost less than $15 (if you don't include a spigot) and requires nothing more than a basic drill in the way of tools. An easy project that will have you making Bokashi compost in no time!