How to Build a Compost Bin With Pallets

Overview

The practice of composting dates back to the beginning of written history. The ancient Akkadians wrote accounts of amending soil with manure. Early English settlers mixed 'muck' with fish carcasses and allowed the fish to dissolve before spreading the mixture onto their crops. In the middle of the 20th century, organic farming was cast aside in favor of chemical solutions. Since then, composting has made such a dramatic comeback that in 2009, the city of San Francisco began a mandatory citywide composting program. In your own home, it is simple and inexpensive to build a composting bin out of recycled wooden pallets.

Step 1

Select a spot on even ground to construct your compost bin. You should pick a place that is away from your home to avoid attracting pests into your house.

Step 2

Transport all of your materials to the final resting place of your compost bin. It is much easier to move your compost bin in pieces then when fully assembled.

Step 3

Pull on safety goggles and protective gloves before beginning construction on your pallet bin.

Step 4

Attach one side of the angle iron to the edge side of a pallet using wood screws and a drill with a Phillips-head bit so that the attached angle iron side is flush against the narrow edge side of the pallet, and the other angle iron side is parallel to what will be the inner wall of the compost bin.

Step 5

Attach the other side of the angle iron to the edge side of a second pallet using wood screws. Both pallets should stand at a 90-degree angle from one another and be held in place with angle iron.

Step 6

Attach a second piece of angle iron to the other edge side of the first pallet using wood screws so that the attached angle iron side is flush against the narrow edge side of the pallet, and the other angle iron side is parallel to what will be the inner wall of the compost bin.

Step 7

Attach a third pallet to the first pallet using the angle iron and wood screws. The first and third pallet should form a 90 degree angle with the angle iron holding them in place.

Step 8

Attach hinges to the top and bottom on the other edge side of the third pallet using wood screws.

Step 9

Attach the fourth pallet on its edge side to the other end of the hinges. The fourth pallet should swing on the hinges like a door.

Step 10

Attach the loop of a hasp to the exterior front of the fourth pallet on the open side using wood screws.

Step 11

Attach the other end of the hasp to the exterior front of the second pallet on the open side. When the fourth pallet door swings shut, you should be able to secure it in place with the hasp.

Step 12

Slide concrete blocks under the corners of the pallet to lift it up. This will promote improved circulation through the compost bin and allow the door to swing freely.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • 4 wooden pallets
  • Drill
  • Phillips-head bit
  • Wood screws
  • 2 pieces angle iron
  • 2 hinges
  • Metal hasp
  • Hasp hardware
  • 4-inch-thick concrete blocks

References

  • Mayor Newsom Signs Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance
  • History of Composting
  • Used Wooden Pallets or Skids: Making Free, Easy Compost Bins

Who Can Help

  • How to Build a Compost Bin
Keywords: compost bin, wooden pallets, organic waste

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.