How to Build a Pallet Compost Bin


Composting is a simple method to turn garden and yard waste into a useful soil addition. The composting process allows microorganisms to convert leaves, grass clippings and other organic matter into rich soil for use in gardens and container plantings. A bin confines your pile and prevents scavenging animals from wrecking it. It is also more attractive than a heap of decomposing leaves in the corner of your yard. Instead of spending money on a bin, create your own out of discarded wooden pallets.

Step 1

Choose a level area for your compost pile. Set one pallet flat on the ground with the slat side facing up to be the base of your bin. The slats allow air circulation to the bottom of the compost pile, which aids the composting process.

Step 2

Stand the other four pallet on their sides. Place one on each side of the base pallet with their slat sides facing out.

Step 3

Cut eight 18-inch lengths from heavy wire with wire snips. Connect the pallets together at each corner by wrapping two wires around them and twisting tightly to secure.

Step 4

Fill the compost bin with an 8-inch layer of dead leaves, wood chips and sawdust. Place a 4-inch layer of grass clippings, green plant material or green manure on top the first layer. Add a shovel full of garden topsoil, then repeat the layers until the bin is full.

Step 5

Turn the compost monthly with a pitchfork, moving the composting materials from the outside of the pile to the inside. Use once all material has composted and it is a rich, dark soil that easily crumbles in your hand.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always get permission before taking pallets from a business. Many businesses will give them out for free, but some charge a small fee or they prefer to reuse their own pallets. Never use pallets that contain toxic chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Pallets
  • Wire
  • Wire snips
  • Yard waste
  • Pitch fork


  • University of Kentucky Extension
Keywords: compost bin, pallet compost holder, wooden composting unit

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.