How to Build a Compost Bin With Skids

Overview

For those of you looking to garden organically, compost is black gold. According to the website the Garden of OZ, compost is simply decomposed organic matter. Gardeners who compost are simply speeding up the process of turning organic matter such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds and old newspapers into nutrient rich soil. This soil can be amended back into the garden to provide new nutrients and beneficial microbes to vegetables and flowers.

Step 1

Ask your local garden center or warehouse for shipping pallets. Most of these places have spare shipping pallets that they are willing to give away free for the asking. Make sure that your shipping pallets are approximately the same size and shape.

Step 2

Locate where your compost bin will be placed. The bin should be located some distance from your house to discourage termites that might be in the wood of the pallets from relocating into your house. This will also prevent wild animals that are attracted to your compost from disturbing you. Because your compost bin will be difficult to move later, you should move your supplies to this spot and build your bin there.

Step 3

Check the slats of your pallets for loose boards and hammer them back into place. Then decide which pallet will be used for each side of the bin. Position your pallets on the ground relative to their location when the bin will be built.

Step 4

Match up two sides of your bin, and decide where your L brackets will attach to hold these sides together. Try and attach the brackets to the frame of the pallet, rather than the slats. Each bracket should attach to the inside of one pallet and the outside of the other. Mark this spot with your pencil.

Step 5

Lay the pallets back on the ground and attach one side of the top L bracket to the inside of one pallet using the screws and the screw driver. Repeat this step for the bottom L bracket.

Step 6

Stand up your two pallets and position them again. Now attach the other side of the L bracket to the outside of your second pallet. Repeat Steps 4 to 6 to join a third pallet to the other two to form the back and two sides of the pallet.

Step 7

Your last pallet will be the door of the bin. Because this door will swing freely, it will have to be raised up a few inches. To do this, place bricks on the ground beneath your last pallet, and match it up with the other pallets to form a box.

Step 8

Attach the strap hinges to the side of the bin at the top and bottom of the bin with a screwdriver and screws. Try to anchor the strap hinges into the frame rather than the slats. Attach the other side of the strap hinges to the door pallet in the same way that you did the bin. Then attach the latch to the other side of the bin's door with the screw driver and screws.

Step 9

Create a vent for your compost pile out of PVC pipe by drilling holes throughout the sides of the pipe. This is to make sure that air reaches every part of your compost pile so that it rots evenly. This will prevent you from having to turn the pile as frequently. As you place scraps into your compost pile, distribute them evenly around the vent.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 shipping pallets or skids
  • 4 L-shaped brackets
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • 2 strap hinges
  • 2 bricks
  • 1 latch
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Drill
  • 4 feet of 4-inch-diameter PVC pipe

References

  • How to Build a $15 Shipping Pallet Compost Bin
  • The Basics of Composting
  • Beginner's Composting Guide: 6 Steps to Great Compost!

Who Can Help

  • How to Compost.org
Keywords: compost, compost bin, pallet bin

About this Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.