How to Make a Compost Bin from Pallets

Compost bins come in all shapes and sizes and you can buy them at either your local garden centre or your local council. However you can make your own using nothing more than some old pallets, some basic tools and a bit of time.

Producing your own compost allows you to turn your kitchen scraps and garden waste into a rich homemade compost.

How to make a compost bin from pallets

To get started, gather four pallets of roughly the same size, a box of screws, a couple of hinges, a drill, and a screwdriver. Look for pallets stamped with IPPC or EPAL logos and the letters HT (Heat Treated). Avoid pallets marked with MB; these contain a toxic pesticide called methyl bromide.

First, clear the area where you want to build your compost bin. Ensure it’s on bare soil or earth and not on paving.

Second, stand three of the pallets up on their sides and lean them against each other. Next, screw them together to hold them in place. Ensure that the two side walls are flush with the rear wall. For added stability to the compost bin, consider adding brackets to each of the corners.

Finally, cut the fourth pallet in half using a saw, and screw the hinges onto the door and one of the side walls. You have now finished constructing the compost bin, and it’s ready for filling.

Some people choose to wrap netting or chicken wire around their bins. This will help keep the contents of the bin from escaping.

Filling your compost bin

You want to start filling your compost bin with a mixture of brown materials and fresh green materials. Brown materials include cardboard, twigs and sticks, and bark chippings.  Green material include kitchen scraps and garden waste such as grass clippings. Continue filling your bin until it reaches the top, then turn it over. Turning over your compost promotes even decomposition and enables you to produce compost more quickly.

Additional compost bays

If you have the space, you can build additional compost bays next to the first one. Having three bays is ideal: you can use the first bay to add new material, the second bay for decomposition, and the third bay for ready-to-use compost around the garden.

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