It is not necessary to buy or build a compost bin in order to make some compost. The simplest of all composting methods is to build a compost pile. This is a free mound of decaying organic material which is formed into a large pile or heap. It can be turned or left to decompose on its own. A variation on the compost pile is lasagna gardening.
The pile that you create has no predetermined dimensions and can be built to whatever size the amount of garden waste of a particular garden requires. The larger the pile, the more insulated it is, and the greater the heat that can be produced. More heat = quicker compost.
A pile that is not turned occasionally will decompose slower than one that gets regular turning. Turning your compost pile will enable all materials contained within it to have some time in the middle of the pile which is where most of the work is done.
If the compost pile is turned compost may be created in as little as a couple of months and if it is not turned it could take a year or more to completely decompose.
When building a compost pile ensuring that it does not blow around or get scattered by scavenging wildlife is important. Placing the pile in an area that is protected from the wind and burying any food scraps deeply will help to protect the pile.
One problem with a pile, especially if it is always in the same area, is that vital nutrients can leech out and be wasted on ground that is always the composting location. If the pile of decaying material is moved and the area where the old pile was is planted in those precious nutrients can be used.
Most composting systems are unattractive and a compost heap is no different. It can be handy to disguise it in some way by putting it in an out of the way area or growing tall plants around it to hide it. One thing that is required when using this composting system is occasional watering. Whether nature does it by way of rain or people do it using a garden hose a composting system without a lid will dry out from the wind and sun.
Some gardeners simply do not like such disorderly things as piles and they prefer to build or buy a compost bin to keep their rotting goodys neatly contained.