Having your own compost bin is an inexpensive way to create a nutrient-rich, organic mulching product for your garden or landscape. While a compost pile can be placed directly on the ground and doesn’t need to be enclosed, many people prefer the appearance and cleanliness of keeping compost inside a bin. While compost bins are available for purchase, if you want to create a cheap bin from recycled material, skids, or shipping pallets, are a good option.
Gather Your Materials
To begin your compost bin, you’ll need only a few basic materials: Packing skids, 4” screws, a drill, chicken wire, a staple gun and hinges.
How to Do It
Get three to five skids. You can purchase the skids, but many factories and stores will give them to you for free if they have no use for them and want to get rid of them.
Stand three of the skids up together so that they create square without a front. Alternately, create a four-pallet compost bin by laying one skid on the ground and standing three skids up around it so that you create a box shape with a bottom, but no front and no top. A four-skid compost bin with a bottom will allow more air to move through the compost, speeding up the composting process. Use three to four inch screws to connect the skids to each other. Place at least two screws at each end of each skid to make sure they are held tightly together and can withstand wind and other harsh weather.
Attach chicken-wire to the inside walls of the compost bin using a staple gun to reinforce the bin, and make a door for the bin out of a fifth shipping pallet or an old screen door if you want to enclose the bin completely. This may be worthwhile if you have small kids or animals that may get into your compost pile. Attach the skid or door to the front of the box with hinges so that it can easily be opened.
Create a base for the compost pile inside the bin, either on top of the bottom skid if you have made a bin with a floor or directly on the dirt inside the bin if you made a three-skid structure. Mulch, sawdust and dried leaves are all goo compost bases. Add food scraps and other organic materials as they become available just as you do with a normal compost pile.