Step 1: Select a site on your property: *A sunny spot is good as heat helps the compost break down. *Be sure you can get a water hose to it as you need to add water to your compost during hot, dry summer months. *Put it in an area where it will be easy to use. *Places to consider: a corner of your garden for ease in spreading, accessibility from your kitchen door so it is easy to put scraps in, and your neighbors and their view.
Step 2: Get 5 wooden pallets. Call local print shops or newspapers they usually put them outside for free. Buy 20 large heavy duty zip ties (I found mine at the auto parts store) They are not cheap – about $10 for a bag of 10.
Step 3: Prepare your site: level out the ground as best you can and lay a pallet down.
Step 4: Build your bin. Place the remaining pallets around the one on the ground and use the zip ties to hold them together. If you are handy you could use brackets and hinges I am not handy so I used zip ties. Be sure to only zip one side on the front so you can open the door to put compost in and to turn it.
A basic rule of thumb during the filling process is 4 parts Carbon to 1 part Nitrogen. This is not like baking and does not require exact measurements. In our family we have no shortage of food scraps and coffee grounds to add to our pile for Nitrogen, but most families feed a smaller quantity of people and may need a little help with Nitrogen. If you think your pile is short on Nitrogen pick up some bloodmeal at your local garden center and spread a thin layer of it in your bin. Here is a handy chart to help you remember.