Do I need to buy a bin to make compost?
What method of composting you use should be determined by the volume of material created in the yard (and to a lesser degree, in the kitchen, where vegetable scraps, egg shells and coffee and tea grounds can be collected for the heap, too). I create far too much raw material for a mere bin-type system, the commercially available kind made of metal or heavy plastic or mesh that are about as big as a washing machine.
I used to have one of those, a metal one that shut tight and thereby kept animals out, to hold my vegetable food wastes, alternating them with layers of garden debris and a little soil or finished compost to get things activated and reduce any chance of unpleasant odors. Now I just dig a hole in the main heap and bury food scraps or sprinkle soil on them to deter pests.
The latest rage is all about lobster-trap-wire bins, meaning really durable mesh (even under the ocean day in and out).
You can make an easy, inexpensive “pen” sort of bin with chickenwire and rot-proof stakes.
My main heap is about 40 feet long and 5 or 6 feet wide, a long, open pile that in composting jargon is called a windrow. In the peak of fall cleanup and leaf raking, it gets to be about 5 feet tall, too, but as the material begins to settle, and eventually to break down, it’s usually more like 3 to 4 feet high.