DIY Network

How to Make a Compost Bin

Commercial composters are available, but why not build your own? We explain how to make a composter from recycled wooden shipping pallets.

More in Outdoors

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Start with Shipping Pallets

Shipping palates are often available free from furniture stores, office-supply stores, hardware stores, nurseries and other businesses that handle large goods. Screw the pallets together to create a three-sided box with a floor. Line the box with chicken wire, which will keep out rodents, stapling the wire to the wood.

Step 2: Top it Off

Attach the remaining pallet to the top, affixing the hinges so that you can open the top of the bin. The top will prevent leaves from blowing away.
Cover the top with black plastic.
If you like, stain the composter.

Step 3: Start Composting

Place the finished compost bin on bare ground. The pile will have no odor if green (high-nitrogen) and brown (high-carbon) materials are present in a 50-50 balance. To produce finished compost in as little as two weeks, turn the pile daily with a shovel or other such tool. Keep it moist.

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