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How to build a compost bin in 4 easy steps

If you want to learn how to build a compost bin, then this blog is exactly where you need to be. We’re going to show you the best DIY solution so you can enjoy the satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment.

If you want to learn how to build a compost bin, then this blog is exactly where you need to be. We’re going to show you the best DIY solution so you can enjoy the satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment.

That’s right, by composting at home, you’re stopping your kitchen and garden waste from ending up in a landfill, which releases harmful gases like methane that aren’t very good for the planet. Also, it saves you money forking out for compost when making your own is easy.

Read on for how to build a compost bin out of pallets.

How to build a compost bin

How to build a compost bin out of pallets. Image: Rake staked in the earth within a wood compost bin.This blog is going to focus on how to build a compost bin out of wood pallets.

Tools you’ll need for the job

To get started, you’ll need to add the following items to your arsenal:

  • 4 healthy wooden pallets
  • 6 long wooden stakes
  • Strong metal wire
  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Sledgehammer
  • Bow saw
  • Chicken wire
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How to build a compost bin from wood pallets

Step 1: Clear the area so you can build a simple compost bin

Find a good place to build your compost bin. A shady area further away from your house is the best option, especially if your compost bin doesn’t have a lid.

Next, use your rake to clear the area. An earth base is better for drainage and grants access to soil organisms, which you need to help break down your household waste. Use your spade to level the ground.

Top tip: Adding a layer of chicken wire where your bin sits will stop any rats from getting into your compost.

Step 2: Build the back of your compost bin

Take one of the pallets and position it horizontally at the far end of where you want your compost bin to go. Then, taking your stakes, drive two of them through either end of the pallets (one plank in from each side). They should sit in the middle – between the top and bottom layer of the pallets so the pallet can be secured by driving the stakes through the middle and into the ground. Use your sledgehammer to make sure they go about 25cm deep.

Step 3: Add two other pallets adjacent to the first

Take your two other pallets and place them at right angles on either side of the staked back pallet. Push them in tight so no compost can spill through and secure them with stakes.

Once you have your U shape, use your metal wire to stabilise the pallets together in each corner. Then, if there’s any of the stake still sticking out at the top, either sledgehammer them in so they’re flush to the top or trim them with your bow saw.

Step 4: Build a compost bin wood gate

Your last pallet is going to be used as a gate. To do this, attach it to one side of the U and secure it with wire so it can open and close.

Top tip: Use an old sheet or piece of carpet over the top of the compost bin to help trap moisture and speed up the composting process.

How to build a worm compost bin

Worms can be added to any compost bin, including one made out of pallets. They’re beneficial for speeding up the composting process and help maintain your compost ecosystem. As macroorganisms, they do this by self-regulating their numbers and consuming decomposing matter efficiently.

We recommend adding red wrigglers, which are perfect because they like to make their way through the surface of your compost and don’t mind crowded conditions or higher temperatures. Also, the resulting compost is great for your plants.

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What is the best way to build a compost bin?

Step for how to build a compost bin. Image: Wooden compost bin filled with waste materials.Choosing the best type of compost bin depends on your requirements. For example, a small garden might benefit from a plastic compost bin. An environmental garden might prefer a DIY version like the one we’ve described above. And a gardener with extra space might benefit from building their own large compost bin out of wood.

How do I build a compost bin?

There are several ways to build a compost bin, but the easiest way is our 4-step method above using pallets and stakes. However, if you’re looking for a more professional compost bin, why not hire one of our professionals to install one for you? Not only will they make sure the design works for your garden, but they’ll also build it to last.

Should I hire a professional?

For a robust finish and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your compost bin will weather any storm, we recommend hiring a professional to build your compost bin. The last thing you want is a poorly managed waste pile, which can cause issues with the health of your garden if left unaddressed.

What do I put at the bottom of my compost bin?

After you’ve built or had your compost bin installed, you need to put down a layer of coarse material to help encourage aeration. This can be anything such as sticks, corn cobs, vegetable stalks and other thick, fibrous matter. Then add weeds, grass and greens and your vegetables.

Will my compost bin attract rats?

If your compost bin attracts rats or mice, it’s because it’s too dry. Simply water it to deter vermin. That said, rats and mice will visit your compost bin if they’re in the area, which is why putting down a layer of chicken wire will help stop them from stealing any food waste you’ve recently added.

If you need garden waste removed, take a look at our garden waste removal cost guide.

Did you find this information useful? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. And if you’re looking for more information like this, check out our blog here.

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