How-To: Trash Can Composter

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How-To: Trash Can Composter

Thomas Arey has contributed 12 projects to the pages of MAKE over the years, the majority of them having to do with salvaging parts and using reclaimed materials. His latest offering is the modest but clever Trash Can Composter, repurposing the trash can itself. Commercial composting canisters can be expensive, but spend an hour or less drilling holes in an old trash can, and you can compost to your heart’s content.

From the pages of MAKE Volume 31:

MAKE Volume 31The maker movement is making science exciting again. Just as punk rock took music back from the supergroups and big studios, “punk scientists” are making inexpensive new tools to conduct real experiments in garages, schools, and hackerspaces. In MAKE Volume 31, you’ll learn how to make DIY laboratory equipment, create high-voltage sparks from falling water, control a cockroach electronically, get started in biotech, and more.


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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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