bin surrounding some plants in the backyard

How to Build a DIY Compost Bin?

Given the amount of compost that can end up lying around, it can be hard to find a way to deal with it all. Sure, you could buy a compost bin. But have you noticed the price of these things!? You can make a DIY compost bin.

For what they are, you are going to be paying a very high price indeed. Instead of relying on buying one from a garden center or getting one through your local authority, you could simply build a compost bin. These bins are only going to need a bit of time and patience to build, and most of the time you can make one use a little more than some recycled wooden pallets and a bit of patience.

Compost bins are not hard to make; they can give you an easy way to turn your garden and food waste into something genuinely useful. This can be used as garden mulch or for various other landscaping projects. By having a compost bin, you make sure that your waste is not letting off all that methane – a dangerous greenhouse gas – into the air. So, you are doing your bit for the environment as well!

With that all said, let’s take a look at building a compost bin doing it by yourself without much work.

How to Build a DIY Compost Bin?

In building this compost bin, we need to know what to prepare. Below is the guide on creating this:

Collecting the Ingredients

To build a compost bin, you are going to need a few basic tools, about a full afternoon/evening of time, and some free space to work within.

  • The tools you will need will include a spade or a rake, a sledgehammer, and a bone saw. You could buy these, or hopefully, you know someone you could borrow from. 
  • You might also wish to invest in some strong wiring and some wooden stakes – you will need around four to six wooden stakes to make this work. Just about any outdoor center will sell these. 
  • Lastly, you will need to source around four wooden pallets. You can probably find pallets for sale on a classified ads platform or ask around on social media to find pallets. Some stores have pallets left over from deliveries and might be happy to just give you them to save themselves time.

Once you have these tools in place, you can start building your DIY compost bin.

Preparing the Groundwork

The first thing you need to do now is making some space outdoors to build the DIY compost bin. You should try creating a level surface so that you are building on a flat piece of land. The bin has to be stood up on soil, not paving. So make sure it has a flat surface to stand on before doing anything else.

If need be, dig down a bit and create a flat piece of surface on your soil. This can be done using a spade or a rake. Also, if possible, try and reinforce the bottom of your DIY compost bin – you could use some basic chicken wire or similar if you can find any locally. This will help to stop any pests and rodents from getting into the bottom of your compost bin.

Building the Framework

framework in a backyard

Next, take one of the wooden pallets that you have and stand it up on the longest edge. This is going to be the backbone of your bin. Take one of the wooden stakes and push that between two layers of the pallet, and then use a sledgehammer to force this into the ground.

You are looking for around 20cm of depth as a minimum. This will ensure that the stake is deep enough to drive into the ground. Stop the compost bin from flowing around or falling over due to a strong wind. 

Now, you need to start positioning the rest of the bin framework. Take the other pallets that you have. Place them in the right angular shapes on either side of the back of your compost bin. This should create an n shape. You will need to make sure that all three pallets are connected tightly. You do not want any gaps between pallets. It means that compost material can fall out of the sides.

Add stakes into each corner as you did with the base layer. So, ensure they again hit around 20cm into the ground to keep the compost bin in place.

Finishing your DIY Compost Bin

The last step will mean that you need to start putting your compost bin into position. You should consider adding some wire between each of the pallets, adding it to each corner, as this will help to strengthen the compost bin further.

The last step will include taking the final pallet that you have and turning it into the gate/entrance point to your DIY composting bin. This should be designed so that it stays strong and in place. You might have to think about installing some hinges. This extra move would require more time and tools than we have listed above. 

Sometimes, too, the stakes might be a little bit too high. If you need to, you could trim the top part of the stakes off, so they are level in height and are not a catching hazard. Simply use the bone saw we spoke about earlier and cut them down to size. 

Lastly, find some cover that you can put over the top of your compost bin. This is especially important as heat helps to speed up the composting process. The warmer your waste material, the quicker it will compost. Ensure that it has enough moisture within, too – semi-regular watering during the summer months. It will help ensure that your compost continues to change. 

Conclusion

And that really is it. With this simple guide, you have just built a DIY compost bin with some old wooden pallets, some basic construction tools, and some wooden stakes. You can now fill up your compost bin quickly and easily with the waste products from around your house. Now that you can see how simple this is, why not try it for yourself instead of buying an expensive compost bin?

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