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Composting Bin for My Son


December 3, 2020

My son wants a composter for Christmas, and we are not thrilled by what’s available.  Perhaps you have a recommendation?  To either buy, or maybe you know someone who makes them? Thanks so very much!


Answer by JZ: Great that your son is interested in composting. Perhaps he could help choose a bin which he likes. There are so many manufactured bins on the market. Most are not specifically designed for desert composting. Many are too porous – too many holes, allowing for too much evaporation.  So if you purchased one of those then you could block the holes with duct tape or a caulk.

Some of the tumbler bins are quite snug, if they appeal to him. Small ones are easy to move around, which is useful. Using /buying a tumbler info is on our website: see Tumbler Bins under Composting Information in our main menu.

You / he might want to start out simply and inexpensively with a homemade bin. There are 4 described under Homemade Bins under Composting Info on our website. 

One of them is a container in the soil, which is quite simple to do.  The trash can bin is super easy to make quite inexpensively.

My personal preference is the tower bin, which has an opening at the top for additions and a slider door at the bottom to collect finished compost. There are many choices/sizes just above $100.00. These are very easy to use, in my opinion. I have a few of them myself.

I do not know anyone locally who makes bins.  I hope that this is helpful.  Get back to us with further questions.

Answer by WR: It’s probably too late for you to do this for your son’s Christmas but I just came across someone on NextDoor who builds compost bins.  His name is Aaron L. and he’s a freshman student at UNM, looking to make some extra money.  Here is what he posted on NextDoor: (link expired)

From Original Questioner: Hi!  Thanks for reaching out with this information.  I ended up getting my son Lifetime’s 50gal tumbling composter.  It took 3 of us (one with a PhD in electrical eng!) to put it together.  It is very well made, so we are all happy with it.

Happy composting in 2021!

Reply by WR: Great, I’m glad you found something you like.  Hope your son and your family have fun composting.  I’ve found it to be very rewarding. We are always glad to answer any questions that may arise.

Answer by JZ: You / your son may find Tumbler Bin info on our website useful. 

I applaud this young man’s contribution.

 If you check some of his wooden bins you’ll see gaps in the sides.  This type of bin is what is often pictured in many composting books written for non-desert climates.

Increasing summer temps. and intense UVR will increase evaporation for any composting setup. So, in my opinion his design could be modified, that is –  no gaps, so that it would be a bin appropriate for the desert. Snug, low porosity bins will be better performers in a desert environment, in my opinion.

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