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Hands sift through compost ready for use


Concrete block compost bin

A concrete block holding unit is sturdy, durable, and easily accessible. If concrete blocks must be purchased, a concrete-block holding unit may be slightly more expensive to build than wire-mesh.


  • About 46 concrete blocks for the first bin
  • (optional) About 32 concrete blocks for a second bin
  • Wooden or metal posts to stabilize the bin
  • Work gloves

Construction Details

  1. Place five concrete blocks in a row along the ground at the composting site, leaving about a 1/2 inch between each block to let air in.
  2. Place four concrete blocks in another row along the ground, perpendicular to, and at one end of, the first row. Form a square corner, leaving about a 1/2 inch between each block.
  3. In the same manner, place four concrete blocks at the opposite end of the first row to form a three-sided enclosure.
  4. Add a second layer of blocks, staggering them to increase stability, leaving about 1/2 inch between each. There should be a layer of four concrete blocks on each of the three walls of the enclosure.
  5. Add a third layer of blocks, again staggering them, with five blocks across the back and three on each side of the enclosure.
  6. The last, and top, layer should have four blocks across the back and three on each side.
  7. To make the bin more stable, drive wooden or metal posts through the holes in the blocks.
  8. (Optional) If you wish to decrease your composting time, build a second bin next to the first, so that the wastes in one can mature while you add wastes to the other. Use one side wall of the first bin so that you need only build two additional walls.

Used with permission from "Composting to Reduce the Waste Stream, NRAES-43" by NRAES, The Natural Resource, Agricultural, and Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701 (607) 255-7654