Now, I’m the first one to admit that this compost bin won’t win any beauty pageants, but it’s a compost bin, for heaven’s sakes. Plus, it’s free, so that makes up for it. We’re on a roll at The Hunky Foreman’s house to slowly turn it into an urban farm, and it’s long been in our plans to trade in the open pile for an actual bin. You can do yours in an afternoon, too, and here’s what you need:
One bin–3 wooden pallets
Two bins–5 wooden pallets
Three bins–7 wooden pallets
bailing wire and/or “L” brackets
Get the pallets from your local grocery store or home improvement store–we just asked if there were any we could take. They don’t have to be in perfect shape, but avoid ones that are really broken or messed up.
Take two pallets and stand them upright in an “L” shape:
We fastened them together at the top, middle and bottom where the pallets join, using heavy duty wire. You can also use “L” brackets for more stability. I told The Hunky Foreman, “We can use ‘L’ brackets for more stability.” He laughed and said, “These pallets don’t deserve ‘L’ brackets.” Guess we didn’t pick the best pallets.
Add a third pallet, fastening together at the corner as you did previously, to make one completed bin:
If you want one bin, you’re done. If you want two conjoined bins, add a 4th bin to the back:
And then a 5th pallet to close in the side:
We started running out of daylight, so we stopped here, but we’re planning to add two more pallets to complete our three bin system. If you’re handy, you can do it all by yourself. For example, I took pics while The Hunky Foreman did all the work. I’m a smart girl.
As you can see, some of our pallets have seen better days. That one on the end had two broken boards, but we turned that side to the outside and it should be fine. Another bit of advice–maybe I don’t need to say it, but do construct your bin(s) in their final resting place. You don’t really want to get the whole family out there to move this 5 feet over, do you? The Hunky Foreman thought ahead, otherwise I would’ve had to put down my Nikon and break a sweat.
Have you made your own bin, or do you use one of the prefab ones? Would you add a door or cover on this? One of our friends asked if the open piles would attract rodents. All the reading I’ve done indicates that if you have rodents in your yard, they’ll find the compost bin, but an open bin shouldn’t attract new ones to the area. Don’t put in anything like meat or rotten eggs into the pile (known materials that lure rats in droves) and when you add your kitchen scraps, add brown material on top so that your scraps end up more towards the middle of the pile.
I’d love to know what other kinds of DIY bins you all have come up with!