8 Build Your Own Compost Bin Bag

If you are anything like me there are some things that you just always forget to buy until its too late. I mean who remembers compost bin bags anyways?  I have gone years without using bags at all but I have gotten our waste streams so small now that I am only filling the compost bin every 2-3 weeks. Add summer heat into the mix and you have a recipe for grossness....and maggots.  I started to use bags that fit directly into the bin but of course ran out and didn't realize until I was standing in the garage holding two bowls of compostable materials and looking into an empty bin.  

If you find yourself in a similar situation, are just looking to save money or are tired of a stinky compost bin, then follow these simple steps to make your own compost bin bag. 

Quickly Make Your Own Compost Bin Bag

  1. Sprinkle a layer of shredded paper directly onto the bottom of your compost bin. Don't have shredded paper? No problem! Use an old egg carton or drink tray. You just want to have something that will absorb any moisture that may collect at the bottom of your bin.
  2. Lay a folded up piece of newspaper across the bottom of your bin. 
  3. Look for longer flyers or newspaper for the sides of your bin. You need it to be long enough to lay across the bottom and then up the side. Use a folded piece so that you can place it into the corner and have it cover two sides. Do this in all 4 corners. 
  4. Lay a folded up piece of newspaper across the bottom. 
  5. Add your compostable material and cover with either more shredded paper or another piece of newspaper. This will keep smells to a minimum and will keep pests away. 

Alternative Methods to Keep Your Compost Bin Clean(ish)

  • Wrap everything in newspaper before you put it into the bin. Don't have newspaper? If you have extra scrap brown craft paper you can use that. 
  • Place scraps into an egg carton and when full place it into the bin, stacking them on top of one another. 
  • Fill up an old cereal box (after removing the bag) and place into the bin. 
  • Open egg cartons and place on the bottom and up the sides of the bin.
  • Use toilet paper and tissue in between layers of food scraps to absorb liquid. 

How do you keep your bin clean? Do you buy bags, make your own or just throw everything into the bin?

Related Posts - Check them Out
Eat Healthy and Reduce Waste
Easy Actions to Reduce Waste
6 Weeks of Waste


  1. This is great, I need to start composting at home!!

  2. Indeed I once got a whole load of wallpaper (eco-friendly, white, bo plastic) from a shop that had had a conflagration and threw them out. You could just cut them so that they'd fit "all around" plus flap clos on top; then you'd just dump them every now and then upside down on the compost pile and after a while all was gone without a trace, yet the bin was always clean and nearly dry.

  3. Interesting idea. I do need to do a better job of keeping my countertop compost bucket clean. For the city compost bin (which I think is what you are talking about), I usually only put in soiled paper/cardboard and disused plants (sorry!!). Otherwise, everything else these days goes into the backyard compost bin.

    1. Do you have "rules" over what you put into your city bin vs your backyard bin? We can compost so much in our city bin that it makes my backyard bin obsolete (except for yard waste....I still use it for that).

  4. These are great ideas, Jen. It reminds me of watching my Nana wrap food waste in paper before there was at home composting! This seems likes a good way me to use all those flyers that come to my house, even though I have a no flyer sign!

  5. Great idea! I never thought of composting this way!

  6. I need to get this kind of compost bin! We had some raccoons, skunks, and a badger(?) in our neighborhood all summer so composting was halted as I did not want visitors. I need a closed container! I am happy to know I do not need to get bags for it.

    1. We have lots of compost bin options with lids. A totally necessity around here! This one is from the city and has a clasp on it so animals have a harder time getting it open. Our backyard one has a twist top so animals can't take it off.