Ready, Set, Build! Your 3-Bin Composter

There’s nothing like a simple building project to make you feel like a well-accomplished and super productive human:) And over the past couple of weeks we’ve had no short of simple building projects- the primary ones being a number of 3-bin composting units for our community garden friends across the city. Although composting can be done in a whole host of containers, it sometimes gets tricky in community gardens where lots of people are using the bin, and they’re located on public land where things like rodent-proofing and aesthetics become more important.

But just to back the truck up a bit, if you’re reading this and wondering how or why you’d even want to start composting, go there first.

Although it’s easy to find designs for 3-bin composters online, after many years of building them I have yet to find a design that is really easy to follow and implement. So, we decided (through trial and error) to try and come up with a design that took the best features of them all, is easy to build (assuming some basic building skills), and resulted in a super sturdy finished product that would meet all possible aesthetic and rodent proofing standards. Mission Accomplished! Each time round we gained a few new skills and learned a few new tricks- all of which will be highlighted in our detailed instruction set which we promise to make public soon!

So the reason I like these systems is that they offer lots of room, with 3 different compartments that allow for storage of dry materials (if you choose), and easy turning of materials when it comes that time. I suggest making these out of a hard wood that is reasonably rot resistant like Western Red Cedar, or Hemlock (which we used).  In short, our design goes like this:

Put together the main elements of the frame (outer ends and inner dividers).


Build the frame.


Fasten the rear planks to the frame and add front runners.


Add sliding panels to the front.


Build the lids.


And Presto! Your new 3-bin composter.


These bins are quite fancy (and will last a very long time!), but as I mentioned earlier- there are all kinds of pre-made bins and simple designs that can be used to set up small to mid-sized compost facilitates- depending on what your requirements are. But for those who have a need or desire to build the super-sturdy, rodent proof, and somewhat eye-catching (at lease I like to think so) – we’ve got a design for you!

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