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Compost Bin for Balconies: a How-To Guide

I've been asked on Tumblr how I compost, and so I've put together a little tutorial on how I made my compost bin. I pulled out my good friend Microsoft Paint for the pictures and used my best 3rd grade presentation skills, so here we go.

What you need to make a little compost bin: A little plastic box. I had an empty shoebox-sized storage box. You don't need a lid. Some little blocks to hold up your tiny box. I used some random desk chair wheels that I'd never used for a chair. A bigger plastic box. This one needs a lid. It needs to hold your tiny box when it is propped on the blocks. Lid. Drill (or hammer/nails). (optional) valve for drainage. All of these items are depicted as bad microsoft paint block drawings. Step1: use the drill or your nails to puncture a lot of holes in both boxes. The small box needs holes on all sides and the bottom. THis allows airflow and drainage. The big box needs hoels on the sides to about 3 inches above the bottom. No holes on the bottom for the big box; you don't want it leaking everywhere. The microsoft paint boxes now have dots on them representing the holes. The large box has 3 inches from the bottom marked for emphasis. Step 2 (optional): drill a hole the width of your valve into the side of the big box, and use the screw of the valve to screw it in. I used some plumbers tape to make it seal. The big box now has a chunky lineart valve stuck out of the bottom right side. Step 3: put your small box on your blocks. How you do this will depend on what you use for blocks; I used hot glue to stick mine on. The tiny box with holes is now shown on little brown squares representing the blocks. Step 4: put your small box in your big box, and your lid on top! Your compost bin is done! The little box on blocks is now inside the big box, with the lid rectangle on top. HOW TO USE YOUR BIN: Compost goes into the inner box. There is a red arrow from this to the inner box in the drawing. The inner box holds the compost. Water drains out the bottom into the big box. The valve can be used to drain that if you want (it's great fertilizer). Every so often, go in and shove stuff around with a trowel, just to add to the airflow. I don't have to do that often, because the air holes seem to provide enough. Tips, tricks, and options: You can put worms in your inner box to speed up breakdown. I haven't because the fruit flies seem to be doing enough. If your compost starts to stink, add some paper scraps. I use my shredded documents, but torn up cardboard packaging is great too. Adding a little water at the beginning can speed up the process getting started. Tips, tricks, and options: Put your bin next to your drier outlet outside. It will keep it warmer even in the winter, allowing the breakdown process to continue. 'Compostable' plastic is made for commercial composting plants. It needs moisture and at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit to break down. Only put it in your bin if you're okay with it sticking around for a while. This bin is for outdoor use only. It needs bugs. Indoor composting needs a proper bin for containment.