I’m just putting the finishing touches on some new compost bins at the Impact Community Garden. We decided we needed to do a better job of dealing with our garden waste, and I volunteered to make the composter. I made the bins out of recycled wooden pallets I picked up at one of our local recycling centers. Some of the pallets needed a little work, but I was able to make minor repairs to them so they would serve our purposes.
The new bins are much like my Brown Gold Yugo compost bins here at Happy Acres, with a few significant differences. After repairing any broken slats, I stapled some poultry netting to one side of the pallets. The chicken wire goes on the inside and serves to keep the compost from falling out through the slats. I was able to reuse some chicken wire that I had previously used around our garden but was in need of replacement. It worked well on the pallets.
I assembled these pallets together using wire that I looped around the 2×4 parts of the pallets at the back corners. You can see how I did it in the below photo. This was much easier, and less expensive than the metal hardware I used for the bins at HA. And the bins are no less sturdy either. I used some 18 gauge wire I had on hand.
I also used pallets to make doors for the composter. I hinged them with some heavy duty galvanized hinges that should outlast the pallets themselves. The doors are a little heavy to open, but then the only time you really need to open them is when you are removing compost, or moving material from one bin to another. The last detail is a piece of 1×4 I used as sort of a door header that serves to keep the sides a little more stable. I got the idea from fellow blogger Emily’s compost bins. I notched the 1×4 to fit the pallets, and you can see it more clearly in the second photo above.
We decided to locate the bins in an odd-shaped part of the garden where the fencing takes a little zig-zag. There’s not enough room to really plant much there, but plenty of room for the compost bins. I think we could actually add a third bin in the future if needed.
I’m happy with how the composter turned out. The wood will weather to a uniform gray color, and will look better than the unsightly piles of waste we had before. And the bins should promote faster composting of the material too. We have a source for some goat manure that should be a nice addition to the bins, and to the garden after it’s composted.
While I had the camera with me at the garden I got some photos of what’s growing there. We’ve still got some nice fall crops growing, including kale, collards, lettuce, Asian greens and even some broccoli heading up – all in early December! I hope you enjoyed hearing about our new compost bins. And maybe it will give someone else ideas about how to make their own composter.