I’ve read about rotating compost bins already two or three years ago, but had neither time nor energy enough to dive into the matter more deeply. There is a vast variety of makes and models available, but they’re all super-sphisticated and expensive and I didn’t want to spend this money for a first test.

Now I found a cheap plastic drum from a marine equipment store on eBay and decided to give it a shot – not much effort and a simple homemade construction. I don’t have any experience with this type of composting, but since I expect to have ample need for compost this summer, the project is worth the time as well as the (little) money to me.



Compost tumblers speed up the composting process due to the special environment created inside the drum and it can handle more different materials than an ordinary compost heap. By rotating the barrel, the contents are aerated and mixed, thus adding to a faster and more thorough decomposing of the materials. If it’s done right and the bin is kept in a shady spot, it doesn’t smell and doesn’t attract critters since it’s a closed system, but as a result useful organisms such as earthworms etc. will not thrive since there’s no contact to the ground.

You can read more in-depth details under links below which I took inspiration and information from and which might be of value to the reader:

Instructables | Help me compost | Eartheasy | YouTube



All measurements in mm, wood is 90 x 90 mm, waterproofed for outside use and the rollers are plain furniture equipment.






Update 10.05.2023: After 2 ½ weeks in operation now, I can report that it does absolutely not smell, apparently it doesn’t attract any pests and decomposing is in progress. So far, it works very well.