Frugality, Home Maintenance, Resources

Compost Bin Made From Old Pallets

I recently built a compost bin from some old shipping pallets.  I thought you guys might like to see a few pictures of the bin – and read about how and why I built it.

Up front, I will readily admit that I am brand new to composting.  That’s why the title of this post isn’t How To Build A Compost Bin From Old Pallets.  Consider my bin a test unit.

That being said, I did base the design (such as it is) on various videos and articles I found on the Internet.

Here’s the completed bin –

As you can see, the bin is basically just three pallets, in the shape of “u”.  I attached the pallets using deck screws that I had left over from another project.

Now, I’ve read dozens of articles (and watched an equal number of videos) about compost bins.  Some are elaborate, some are simple.  I wanted mine to be very simple to make, easy to access, and away from the main house.

My goal is to use the compost bin for old leaves, kitchen scraps, and grass clippings.  Over time, all of the stuff in the compost bin will (hopefully) break-down to form, well, compost.

I’ve read that it’s best to have a lid on the compost bin – and I’ve also read that it’s cool just to leave it open, like I’ve done.  Also, lots of articles suggest that if you don’t completely enclose the bin, you’ll have to worry about animals getting into the bin.  If that does indeed become a problem, I’ll definitely revisit my design.  Right now, I just wanted to go with a super-simple, super-basic design.

Now that I have the compost bin – and my DIY rain barrel – I’m ready for spring!  I can’t wait to get out in the yard, get some new plants in the ground, and enjoy the weather.  (Very observant readers might note that the bin is situated behind the playhouse that I built for the kids a few years ago.  The playhouse is no longer blue – but is a nice shade of khaki to match the new house.)

The blocks on the outside of the bin are just there for a bit of added support.  Plus, I didn’t really have anywhere else to put them, because the bin is now standing on a bar patch of yard, where the blocks used to be.  The black “tarp” on the top is just an old piece of yard fabric and really serves no purpose, other than to keep the top layer from blowing away in the wind.  The tarp allows water to reach the composting materials, so I think it’s fine where it is.

I’d love to hear from you if you have a compost bin.  What do you think of my design?  Will it work?  Leave your comments below.

10 thoughts on “Compost Bin Made From Old Pallets

  1. I’ve been contemplating putting one of these up this spring. I’d seen a couple of designs and had decided to build one almost exactly like yours. Glad to know my ideas weren’t completely off base. Or, maybe we’re both kooky… 😉

  2. thats a great way to make a compost area! I might do something similar, have tried a few enclosed bins but not had much success. I think you’re onto a winner with this one.

  3. Nice compost bin. I wanted to build one in the same manner. In my area I was not able to find and some places even charged for them. I ended up buying that pre-made from Scotts in an end of summer sale. I would have rather built my own and I may still make one because I am finding I could use another.

  4. Over the years, I have tried to build simple compost bins. The most successful one was comprised of loose concrete blocks stacked up. I didn’t even stack them end to end. I simply stacked them close enough that they stacked onto each other. I did take care to alternate the blocks so every other one had the solid side to the outside. When I moved to a bigger yard next a wooded area, I tried building the compost bin out of fallen limbs. This was not as succeeful as the yard waste (autumn leaves mostly) exceeded the capacity of the bin. Eventually, I disassembled it and began just putting the leaves in a pile. Last year, we could not afford to buy bark mulch for the flower garden, so we used the half decomposed leaves. This worked out real well. Prior to this, we would let the leaves decompose all the way to friable soil to augment the garden. By covering the flowers, we accomplished both protecting the plants and after that job was done, it augmented the soil. We simply left the leaf mulch in place. We live on the southern shore of Lake Erie, so protection of the plants is quite important.

  5. Love your design. Simple and functional. I’d like to try it, with a hinged front door/wall. Thanks for sharing your idea!

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