Green Your Life

Published on March 5th, 2009 | by ziggy


Build Your Own Recycled Pallet Compost Bin for $15

March 5th, 2009 by


Do you want to limit the amount of trash you produce and help make your backyard soil healthy and productive? One of the easiest solutions to these problems is to compost your food waste. It requires little personal energy, and you will benefit from the rich compost resulting from the breakdown of your kitchen scraps.

The only thing you really need to do is create a suitable bin for your soon-to-be compost. There are alternatives to the overpriced, plastic compost containers that some garden supply stores hawk to customers. You can make your own using recycled shipping pallets for less than $20, or even free if you have some of the few necessary supplies.

How to build a compost bin

Here are two different sets of instructions on how to build your own inexpensive compost bin from reclaimed shipping pallets:

Why to build with shipping pallets

Here are some statistics about the production and waste associated with shipping pallets:

  • Approximately 40% of all hardwood harvested in the U.S. is for making shipping pallets
  • About two-thirds of pallets are used only once before being thrown out
  • 1/4 of all wood in landfills is from used pallets

Why not put some of those shipping pallets headed to the landfill to good use? You can easily find shipping pallets around your town or city; try contacting supermarkets, warehouses, and other businesses that regularly receive large shipments.

Scraps suitable for composting include fruit and vegetable matter, egg shells, coffee grinds, tea bags, and just about any other food scrap you can imagine, except perhaps meat products, which can attract unwanted critters.

Container gardening is a ton of fun. Hopefully this post helped you out a bit.

Happy composting!

(Image credit: flickr via London Permaculture)

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About the Author

I'm a 26-year-old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, an intentional community devoted to sustainable living and culture change. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply. You can read about my on-going natural building projects at:

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  • Thanks so much for sharing the idea. I bet people could even call up shipping companies and ask if they could take a few off their hands. Plant and Garden Blog

  • John

    This is a great idea! I made a compost bin like this, except, I live on a farm! lol…so I used a 80″ pallet and 2 40″ pallets…..

  • Murray

    BUT – you should always remember that EXPORT/IMPORT pallets are generally become Carcinogenic because they have been treated with such things as methylbromide etc one worries about splinters or if they get burnt !!!!!!

  • We’re going to put one of these together with the Dirt to Dinner kids next weekend. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing the ideas.

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