How to Make an Indoor Compost Bin for Your Kitchen

Posted on Apr 14 2009 - 6:55pm by Mike Lieberman

The following instructions on how to make a compost bin can be scaled up or down based on the space that you have. Since I was dealing with the small space of my kitchen, I used a smaller 10 gallon garbage can. If you have more space, you can use a bigger can. The same concepts apply.

Making your own compost is a great way to cut into your out of pocket costs when starting a vegetable garden.

The tools and materials to build an indoor compost bin:


  • Drill with 1/4″ bit

  • 10 gallon metal garbage can
  • Black and white newspaper
  • Rubber mat
  • Organic potting mix
  • Composted organic manure
  • Old furniture legs
  • Food scraps
    Building the bin went down like this

  • Drilled holes in the bottom of the garbage can. Supposedly this allows for aeration and to help the compost do it’s thing.
  • Shredded the newspapers by hand.
  • Set up mat and rested garbage can on the furniture legs.
  • Put in first layer of newspapers and some of the potting mix.
  • Added a layer of the food scraps (Totally forgot to take a picture of this part).
  • Sprinkled some of the composted manure.
  • Covered with layer of newspaper and potting mix.
  • Food layer. Then another layer of newspaper and soil.
  • Closed up and done.
  • Green Smoothie Girl

    So you’re not using worms? I need to start indoor composting – my food scraps are piling up in the freezer and fridge…

  • Mike Lieberman

    I’m using worms now. I wasn’t before. What kind of scraps you have in the freezer. You can make a veggie broth from them or fruit scrap vinegar.

  • Felicia M.

    Hey Mike, will this set-up produce a smell?

  • Mike Lieberman

    If you put too much food in, yes. If you keep a nice balance…no.

  • Blanca83

    How long do you need to wait to use the compost?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Roughly 3 months.

  • Tom

    When drilling a hole in the bottom- how are you keeping the compost from pouring out?

  • Mike Lieberman

    It just doesn’t pour out.

  • Fireeater317

    well this sounds like a better idea than i was using  i will amend mine.  also would adding worms to this be a bad idea?

  • Mike Lieberman

    That can definitely work.

  • Ariunzaya Tsogoo

    could u show us your bin pic?