How to Build a Compost Bin from Pallets


Making your own compost is an inexpensive way to create a nutrient-rich amendment for your garden. It also benefits the environment because you keep your organic trash out of the landfill and put it where it does some good with your plants. Compost bins help control your compost and protect it from animals, who might dig through it and destroy it. Create your own compost bin for little to no cost by using shipping pallets. This also gives new life to the pallets, which otherwise would be thrown away.

Step 1

Acquire five same-size pallets for your bin---the average pallet measures 40 by 48 inches. Choose pallets with less than 1 inch of space between slats.

Step 2

Lay one pallet flat on the ground with the slat side facing up. Choose an area where the ground is fairly level where you are building, or the sides might not line up properly.

Step 3

Set up the remaining four pallets on their sides around the one on the ground to form an open-topped box. Set them so the short sides are on the top and bottom with the longs sides on the sides.

Step 4

Lash three of the standing pallets to the base pallet using a 2-foot-long length of heavy gauge wire. Slip the wire between the slats of both the side and bottom pallet, then twist tightly together using pliers if necessary.

Step 5

Lash each side piece to the one next to it using two lengths of 2-foot wire equally spaced along each side. Leave one side unattached on the pallet that is not connected to the bottom pallets.

Step 6

Twist a 2-foot length of wire to near the center of the unattached side. Pull it through the slats until the ends are even then twist together. Bend the twisted wire into a hook and use it to hook the open side to the one next to it.

Step 7

Unlatch the hook and swing open the unattached pallet to turn your compost or to access the finished compost at the bottom of the pile. Swing the pallet back closed like a door when finished and latch the hook.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always get permission before taking pallets.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood pallets
  • Wire
  • Wire snips
  • Pliers


  • Montgomery County Maryland Extension
Keywords: pallet compost bin, soil ammendments, backyard composting

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.