How to Make at-Home Compost Bins


Composting is a good way to reduce the amount of garbage that you throw away. It also returns nutrients to the soil and creates a natural fertilizer that reduces pests and diseases that plague vegetables. Because of these benefits, the city of San Francisco has made composting mandatory for residents by 2010. A compost bin can be as simple as a large, wooden box with holes in it.

Step 1

Carry the four wooden pallets to the location where you will leave the finished compost bin. Your bin should be in a sunny location so the sun's heat will help the contents of the bin decompose faster.

Step 2

Set each pallet on its end.

Step 3

Align the pallets so that they form a square. Each corner where the pallets meet should form a 90-degree angle.

Step 4

Wrap each corner where the pallets meet with the 18-gage wire, passing the wire through the slats in the pallets.

Step 5

Secure the wire by wrapping the ends together, then cut it with the wire cutters.

Step 6

Drill holes throughout the length of the 12-inch-diameter PVC pipe, spacing them about 4 inches apart in rows that are 5 inches apart, using the drill and the 1/2-inch drill bit.

Step 7

Place the pipe vertically in the center of the compost bin and pile compost around it to help hold the pipe upright. The pipe will help to move air into the center of the pile, which will help the contents of the bin break down faster.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 wooden pallets
  • 18-gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 12-inch-diameter PVC pipe, 4 feet long
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit


  • Mother Nature Network: San Francisco Starts Mandatory Composting
  • Riverside County, Calif., Waste Management Department: Build a Bin

Who Can Help

  • Used Wooden Pallets or Skids: Making Free, Easy Compost Bins
Keywords: compost bin, homemade fertilizer, soil amendments

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.