Monday, March 26, 2012

The Minimalist Guide to Moving Your Compost Bin

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to alter your perspective and brighten your mood. The same can be said for your compost bin.

Here’s how I gave my compost bin a makeover (with before and after pics) by moving him into a great new location.

It’s Time to Move On
Nowhere in the composting rule book does it say that once you find a good location your compost bin has to remain there indefinitely. Moving your bin can give you the same fresh feeling as redecorating your house (just with more bugs and dirt) and it leaves a fertile spot in your yard for new plants.

My old location became problematic when a neighboring tree decided to grow roots up into my compost bin. I can’t say I blame the tree, you gotta take what you can get, but I would rather not battle roots when harvesting my compost.

Here are the steps I took to move my single plastic compost bin:
  1. Pull out all the unfinished compost. A pitchfork would have been better for this job but my trusty shovel worked just fine.
  2. Pick up the bin and relocate. This was easy peasy with my plastic bin but you may need to recruit help to move a bin made of wood or other heavy materials.
  3. Add a layer of shredded leaves in the bottom. This optional step provides a good base for your pile, especially if it’s full of winter food scraps like mine. 
  4. Put unfinished compost back in the bin. Since my compost pile was too wet I layered the compost with more shredded leaves. The layers of shredded leaves also “fluff up” the bin and keep the good aerobic bacteria happy.
  5. Cover unfinished compost with leaves or shredded paper.
Moving on Up!
My compost bin is now at the top of my terraced backyard. Dropping off my food scraps is more trouble, but so far I’ve enjoyed walking through the garden to empty the kitchen bucket. Come winter, I may be sweet-talking my husband into this task. (:

Here are the before and after pics.

Before: my bin is in the back. Notice the small tree.

After: Notice my neighbor's compost bin (and doggy) on the other side.

Have you ever moved your compost bin? Tell me why in the comments.


  1. We have the same wheelbarrow and bin! I never move my bins but if I did I'd just tell my wife I'd say woman, move this bin! : )

  2. Good luck with that, Lefty, you might end up sleeping in the doghouse! (:

  3. I'm guessing he was typing from aforementioned locale. :)