New Zealand Box Style Three-Bin System

Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters


1. With this construction style, the boards fit snugly together, which helps decrease evaporation from the bin.
2. The bin boards easily slide upward for access to the contents.
3. The top of the organics is covered with a tarp or plastic sheet. This decreases evaporation.
4. In due time, humus is produced.
5. When you are finished working in the bin, cover the top with tarp or plastic and then weigh down the edges.

Additional comments about New Zealand Box Style Three-Bin System:

  • Maintain a moisture level in the organic materials that it is similar to the moisture content of freshly brewed coffee grounds, saturated but not dripping.
  • If the bin is not in the shade, it may be covered with two layers of shade fabric or cardboard.

Please read our brochure Composting in the Desert.

If you have questions you may send them in an email to

To see other styles of homemade compost bins see Homemade Compost Bins for the Desert.

Photos are by Mike Stoy.