I wanted to buy a compost bin and saw some for sale at the Home Depot. They cost $50-100 and up depending on how fancy you want to go. I decided to make my own after seeing some online tutorials. Why pay for something you can make for free?
This is a project you can do for free or very little money. You can get shipping pallets for free from shipping companies or any place that receives freight. Go take a look behind a big box store and you will probably find some pallets. The stores will be happy to give them to you. I work for an international shipping company and we receive freight that comes on pallets. The pallets are a pain for us to get rid of. I got my husband to bring his van to my work and we loaded it up with the pallets. Wear gloves and be careful. Pallets are usually full of splinters and many have old rusty nails sticking out. Try to choose sturdy looking skids that are all the same size.
I propped them up in position and secured with rope. I just twisted the rope through the slats and tied the loose ends together. You could nail them together or use old wire coat hangers to secure. For the front, I only secured one side so I could still open the front to get out the compost. You could use a bungee cord to help secure the front for easy access.
If you live in a dry climate you may want to line your bin with plastic to help keep the moisture in. Moisture isn’t really a problem here in the Pacific NW. So I didn’t bother with that step.
The slats on the pallets help to increase airflow. You could have an additional pallet on the bottom to help with airflow from underneath
- Alternate brown and green layers in the bin. Brown= vegetable and kitchen scraps and manure. Green = yard waste and grass clippings
- Chop the scraps up as small as you can, they will break down faster
- Water the compost to keep it moist, but not so wet that it gets rotten and stinky, turn often with a pitchfork.
- Consider adding composting worms to your bin to help things break down faster.