Do it Yourself in your own Backyard

  1. $39 - GeoSystems GEOBIN 17 Cubic Ft. Composting System

  2. $39 - Gardener’s Supply Square Wire Bin system; can be expanded to a 3-bin setup for $99

  3. $89 - Covered Bridge recycled plastic Organic Wishing Well 18 Cubic Ft. Compost Bin

  4. $159 - the Earth Machine 10.5 Cubic Ft Compost Bin.  [free if you attend a composting workshop hosted by the City of Philadelphia (no current schedule)]

  5. Drum Composter - CompostTumbler

Start adding stuff ...

  1. Keep a closed bucket in the kitchen, so you're not making multiple trips to the backyard.

  2. Avoid meats and dairy products in your backyard pile (they tend to attract critters).

  3. Alternate layers of green and browns and keep damp.

  4. Greens are:  fruit & vegetable peelings, tea bags (including string & paper tab), coffee grounds (including paper filters),  egg shells. You can also add grass clippings.

  5. Browns are:  leaves, shredded newspaper.

  6. End with a layer of browns on top - keep all food covered.

Mix or let sit ....

  1. If you decide to just let your compost sit, you will want to have several bins so that you can fill one up and just let it cook while you fill up another one.  This is why the “three bin system” is so popular - you don’t have to do much turning or mixing, although it will take longer for you to have get finished compost to use in your garden.  If you use a wire bin system as pictured above, when your first bin is finished you can lift up the bin and re-use it.

See how other people do it!

  1. We find it fun and inspiring to actually see others’ composting efforts.  For example, check out Elizabeth Fiend’s composting “how to” video at BiG TeA PaRtY’s Sustainable Living area!

  2. Email us with other examples if/as you find them and think others would find them inspiring.

Still have questions? Check out our Q&A PAGE and the Resources page.

Take a class or attend a workshop!

    Click here for a list of those courses we know about - let us know if you hear of others.

Select a spot ...

  1. Convenient to get to, but not too close to windows

  2. that open.  Either a sunny or shady space will suffice.  Close to hose or outdoor faucet.

Choose a container ...

  1. Free:  old trash can with holes drilled in the bottom and sides.

  2. $17 - 10 foot roll of hardware cloth and twist-ties you’ve saved.  As pictured here (to the right of the leaf source in the brown barrel).

According to COOL2012, "Backyard or onsite composting offers the highest environmental benefit among organics management strategies because of the decrease or elimination of transportation impacts."