Composting 101: Building A Compost Bin

building a compost bin

Things you’ll need- 7 pallets or panels of wood (all approx the same size), 4-6 hinges, drill, screws, and a person to help hold things up!

If you envision a domino, you’ll notice it’s composed of 7 lines- 2 on each long side, one for each short end, and one in the middle… that’s what we’re building if viewed from the top! This way you have 2 bins to transfer matter back and forth in as you rotate your compost pile. Please notice this is NOT one of our “Beautiful!!” projects. This is a project of functionality and low cost (the pallets were all free at the local recycle center)! I’m sure for a higher price this could be created in a much prettier way 🙂 If beauty is important to you (based on location, OCD, or just because) send us pictures! We’d love to see what you’ve created!

We started by creating a square out of pallets with one hinged side that creates a door. It sometimes takes some “creative drilling” to get pallets to screw together when they aren’t all the same size or built the same way.

Then we added another square off the side with another hinged panel to make the other bin door. I hinged them in opposite directions to make moving materials between the bins easier.

How to build a compost bin

Depending on how flat your ground is near your compost bin, you may want to add latches to keep the doors closed. Because my compost bin is on a slope and I didn’t dig out the dirt too much in the area around the door, the doors stay closed on their own in this case. I just lift a little to open and close them. Another thing to keep in mind is that you may not NEED doors. I wanted to keep my dog out of the bin, but if you’re pet free, you may want to skip doors altogether.

I found that location was everything for me in this project. I wanted this out of the way and easy to access. We put this on the side of my house just below the deck. I’m able to walk out our dining room door and toss things into the bin from the deck!

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