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How to Build Compost Bins from Pallets

Pallet Compost Bins

Building compost bins from pallets has to be the quickest and easiest way to produce a pair of serviceable compost bins.

You will need 7 pallets of roughly the same size, some scrap wood, wire, nails and cardboard.

Pallets come in different sizes and strengths. Those designed to carry heavy items are best. They’re constructed using thicker and better grades of wood and will last longest.

2 pallets will form the back of the compost bin, 2 for the external sides, 1 for the centre divider and the last 2 will be used to form doors to hold the contents in the bin. If you want to extend the bins to 3 bays, you can just add 3 more pallets.

How to Build Compost Bins from Pallets

Start by drawing a trench as wide as the pallets are about 15 to 20cm deep. This will help keep the pallets in position. Put the two pallets forming the back in and join them together.

You can tie them with garden wire, plastic ties or nail them together – whatever is easiest for you. Take a couple of scrap wood lengths, perhaps thick laths from another pallet, some 2×1 timber or stout and straight tree branches. Insert these into the ground between the faces of the pallet. Hammer down into the ground and these will secure the pallets when the weight of the compost is pushing the pallets.

Next put the sides in place in exactly the same way as for the back.

Insulating The Compost Bins

The final step is to put cardboard and crumpled newspaper between the faces of the pallets. This acts as insulation to help the compost heat up. The ‘insulation’ will probably only last 6 months, possibly a year but is easily replaced.

When the bin is being filled, place the last pallet in front of the U shape of the bin. Use a piece of wood at an angle to hold it in place if needed although it’s usually not required.

Pallet Compost Bin Plan

Pallet Compost Bin Plan – note insulation and support poles

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