How To Make a Simple Compost Bin With Wire Fencing

Food waste, including a banana, cucumber, corn, tomato, and lettuce in a recycling compost can.

Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

You do not need to purchase pre-made composting systems or build wooden or concrete structures to have a perfectly efficient compost bin. With a couple of simple tools and some inexpensive wire fencing, you can make as many compost bins as you need.

What You'll Need

  • Wire fencing
  • Wire cutters or tin snips
  • Gloves
  • Zip ties, wire, or twine

Steps to Make a Compost Bin

  1. You will want your compost bin to be at least three feet in diameter. For a three-foot compost bin, measure out 10 feet of wire fencing. If you are making a compost bin that is four feet in diameter, measure out 12 1/2 feet of fencing.
  2. Use wire cutters or tin snips to cut the fencing. You'll want to cut the cross wires flush with an upright wire so that you don't have any ends sticking out. Cut carefully, and be sure to wear your gloves. The cut wire can be quite sharp.
  3. Form the length of wire fencing into a circle. Sometimes when the wire fencing has just been cut from the roll, it seems determined to spring back into a tight little roll. Laying the fencing on the ground, opening it up, and walking back and forth over it a few times will flatten it enough for you to be able to form it into a circle.
  4. Fasten the ends of the fencing together. You can use wire, twine, or zip ties to fasten it. To be sure that your compost bin is secure, fasten the ends at the top, middle, and bottom.
  5. Put your compost bin in place in your garden. The best place for a compost bin is near the garden, where it will be easy to put garden waste into the bin, as well as put finished compost into the garden. Just make sure you have enough room to move around it for those times you need to turn it or harvest the compost.
  6. Start filling the compost bin. Lawn and garden waste, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggshells are all great additions to the compost pile. You can also use it to hold chopped fall leaves to make leaf mold.
  7. Turn your compost regularly, or just let it sit until the materials break down. You can use finished compost anywhere in your garden, on your lawn, and in potted plants.

Compost Bin Tips

  • Be sure to wear gloves. This project can be very hard on the hands.
  • An electric multitool with a cutting wheel is also a good option for cutting the fencing.