Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Build Your Own Compost Bin from Reused Shipping Pallets

If you have the yard space for it, you may decide you want to build your own compost heap to reduce the amount—and stink—of your trash, and create a fertile topsoil for your garden. Take it one step further and build your own container out of old warehouse pallets, most of which are used only once before ending up in a landfill. This easy step-by-step guide shows you how.

From This Garden Is Illegal (with a tip of the hat to Planetsave.com):

What you will need for this project is 4 shipping pallets that are roughly the same size, 4 L brackets, 2 strap hinges, a latch and the screws to attach the hardware. You can get the shipping pallets for free from almost any warehouse that ships and receives product. They will be happy to give you some as most places throw the pallets out after they are done with them. The rest of the hardware will cost between $10 – $15.

Check the slats on the pallets and hammer in any loose ones. Decide now which pallets will be the sides, back and front gate. My pallets were all the same size, but one had a plywood solid top, I decided to make that pallet the back of my bin. You will want to consider these sort of things when deciding which pallets will go where.

Match up the back and one side of the bin. Decide the best place to put the top and bottom L bracket so that the two pallets will be securely attached. Try to choose a spot that goes into the frame of both pallets, rather than the slats. Mark the rough location that the L brackets will go.

Lay the pallets back down. Attach the L brackets to the side pallet first. The L bracket will attach to the inside side of the side pallet. Attach both the top and bottom L bracket to the side pallet.

Stand the pallets back up. The L brackets will go on the back on the back pallet (see picture).

Attach the L brackets to the back pallet.

Repeat the last 3 steps on the other side with the other side pallet.

The front gate will need to be raised up a few inches so that it swings open easily. Place some bricks at the front to keep front gate off the ground while you attach it.

Attach the strap hinges to the side of the compost bin, one at the top and one at the bottom. Try to put in as many screws as you can into the pallet’s frame.

Set the front pallet on the bricks and attach the strap pallet to the front pallet.

Once the strap hinges are attached, attach the latch on the other side. I put mine way up high because I have kids and this looks like a really fun place to play jail. But I want to keep the kids out of the compost bin, so the latch it up out of their reach. You can set yours where ever you feel comfortable.

Read the whole article here.

Here’s an additional tip on homemade compost heaps, from Composting: An Easy Household Guide by Nicky Scott:

You can make a cheap simple box to contain your heap out of old pallets.These can simply be tied together, and you can easily insulate them if desired: fill the space where the pallet is picked up by the forklift with rolled-up cardboard, carpet, bubble wrap, an old quilt, sheep’s fleece, an old coat, or suitable building insulation material, and line the inside with cardboard sheets to cover up the gaps between the slats of wood.

Image courtesy of PlanetSave.com.


The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com