Easy, Tamper-Proof Compost Bin Plans

by ziggy on March 22, 2013 -- 2 comments -- Follow

Compost Bin Plans

Rodent and dog-proof compost bin… for under $40

We’ve all got our shortcomings. Our compost bin situation has been severely lacking for… a few years, I’ll say. How embarrassing.  Let’s just say we were kinda lacking on the “bin” end of things for a while… until now. These great compost bin plans we came up with eliminate dogs and rodents from getting into our pile, allowing us to create soil fertility without the headache of critters messing things up! All it took was a roll of hardware cloth, and a bag of zip ties. I’m so pleased to have a functional compost bin that I just had to share this here. The whole thing costs under $40.

Tamper-proof Compost Bin Plans

For this compost bin design, you’ll need the following:

  • 16 feet of 3′ width, 1/2″ gauge hardware cloth
  • Bag of small zip ties
  • Small selection of thin wood stock
  • Handle (optional)

Of course, the hardware cloth is the bulk of the cost, at about $1.79 per linear foot, I think. The rest of the materials is insignificant.

To make a 3′ diameter bin, you’ll use about 9 feet of hardware cloth. Cut it at 9′, and using the zip ties, secure the two ends together.

Cut two 3′ long pieces for the top and bottom, and secure the bottom with additional zip ties, using one tie every few inches to make sure there is no chance of rats getting access to your lovely kitchen and garden waste. With a pair of tin snips, cut the excess hardware cloth close to the perimeter of the circle.

You can leave the lid square, or make it an octagon (as I did) to reduce the overhang effect. In either case, I would recommend stiffening the lid with some thin wood stock. Cut the stock and staple it to the cloth for ease of construction. You can also buy or fashion a handle and center it on the bin to make things extra nice.

That’s about it. Your compost is now dog, raccoon, rat, and otherwise animal-proof (except for those with opposable thumbs and too-big brains.)

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  • Gordon

    How has this compost worked out for you? I am considering building one but I’m concerned that rodents would push their way under the top. Have you had that happen?

  • It’s still fairly new. I haven’t had any problems yet. There are others nearby that have used the same design for several years without issue. If you were very concerned you could make a heavier framed lid, or even modify it with latches. If you happen to be in an area with bears or very aggressive raccoons you will need a different set up. We have all manner of racoons, opossums, skunks, etc but don’t seem to have a problem. We also live in a very rural location with much of our land undeveloped, so I’m sure those larger animals (like racoons) have plenty of other food besides our compost.

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