Does a compost bin need air holes?

QUESTION: Does a compost bin need air holes?

ANSWER: Your compost container at least needs to have air holes in its bottom surface, so if there are none, you’ll need to drill plenty of holes in the base so that excess moisture can drain out, unpleasant smells have an escape route, and oxygen can circulate. (The microbes that work to break down your compost materials need air to survive, and without air holes in the bin, they won’t receive it. The result will be a pungent rotten egg smell.)

Air holes in the bottom of your compost bin are vital; more air holes in its sides are a best practice, so you should go ahead and drill those while you’re at it. Without oxygen, the microbial magic that turns your composting ingredients into a nutritious fertilizer similar to rich soil simply won’t happen.