How Not to Build a Compost Bin

A compost bin is a wonderful idea. Taking things you do not have any use for and turning it into valuable fertilizer for the garden is a perfect win-win situation. Using grass clippings, fallen leaves, and table scraps to help produce better produce.

I did not want to spend a lot of money on our bin, because I am cheap. I also did not have enough scrap wood to build one. We can get free wood out of used wooden pallets! Ann’s father is a truck driver, so he has access to free wooden pallets. On one of her trips to visit family, she returned with 5 old wooden pallets. So now I have my free wood to make our compost bin and make our free compost. Great idea, huh?

Now, I have broken down pallets in the past. Wood always comes in handy, and I like to get as much use out of things as I can. These pallets must have been built to ship tanks! Getting them apart was much more difficult than I had expected. But after several hours of prying the planks apart, I had finally gotten them all apart. In hindsight, I should have just sprung for some wood and had this entire project done in less time than it took me to break the pallets down.

I planned for a simple two compartment box construction with an open bottom.

Wooden Pallet 2 Compartment Compost Bin

I put a hinged lid on the top to make for easy access to dump in the composting materials.

2 Compartment Wooden Compost Bin With Lid

I also hinged two drop down doors on the front to make it easy to access the compost for removal and for stirring. I put the hinges at the bottom so they would not have to hold the weight of the doors by themselves as the doors ended up being quite heavy. After the project was completed, I was very happy with the rustic look the old pallet wood gave to our compost bin. It did turn out to be very functional.

2 Compartment Wooden Compost Bin With Lid And Doors

Two changes I would make in the future are having separate lids for each compartment as the lid is quite heavy. I would also change the design to have the doors on the front either hinged on the side or removable so I did not have to walk on them to reach the compartments. I really had not designed the doors with the intent of bearing that much weight.