Create a DIY Pallet Compost Bin to improve your soil! This three-bin composting system includes an added storage area and is the perfect inexpensive garden DIY project.
Pallet Compost Bin
Composting is one of the most tried and true methods used to enrich your garden while saving money and reducing the amount of organic material entering the waste management system. While I love getting the opportunity to do some trench composting every once in a while, being able to create my own compost in separate bins has upgraded my gardening significantly.
When building this 3-bin composting system, I decided to add a storage area as well. Often times I’ll have an abundance of certain resources (dead leaves, grass clippings, cardboard, shredded paper, etc.), and I can’t add them to the compost all at once without disrupting the balance required for decomposition. This storage area allows me to gather my resources and add them as needed.
We will walk you through building a three-bin composting system with an added storage area to the back of this composting station. I’ve also included details near the bottom in case you need to skip or modify the storage area for your own needs.
The build is very easy, maybe the hardest part is getting the area level enough for the build.
Why use a 3 Bin Compost System?
Composting takes quite a lot of time to allow each component to fully breakdown into usable soil. If you keep feeding the same compost pile with your kitchen and garden scraps every day, you’ll never have a fully-ready pile.
Using a 3 bin system allows you to start your compost in one bin and allow it to begin to decompose. Once it starts looking more like compost and less like trash, you can move it to the second bin. In your first bin, you can start over with fresh materials.
Once the compost in the second bin looks ready to use, you can transfer it to the third bin until you need it. At this point, your fresh batch in the first bin will have decomposed some and will be ready to move to the second bin. Then you can start a brand new batch with new materials in the first bin again.
This system allows you to have compost ready at nearly any time! It also makes it physically easier… Instead of stirring and mixing up one giant pile, you have three smaller, more manageable piles. Quicker results, better quality compost, and easier work can’t be beat!
Materials to Build a Compost Bin using Pallets
- 14 Pallets – It’s easiest if these are the same size and are built similarly.
- If only making the 3 compost bins and not the storage area, you’ll need just 8 pallets, all of the same size.
- If you’d like a smaller storage area, you’ll need just 12 pallets.
- Screws & a drill
If you are going to want to gate off your bins to keep out pets, you’ll need an additional 3 pallets and 3 sets of hinges and latches.
Pallets are a fantastic option when you’re looking for inexpensive (sometimes free!) lumber. The only downside is that it can be difficult to take them apart without ruining the wood.
Check out this step-by-step guide to Dismantling A Pallet so you can make the most of your pallet wood. All you need is a pry bar, a hammer, and a scrap piece of 4×4 wood!
How to Build a DIY Compost Bin with Storage Area
Step One: Level the area. This build is much easier when the pallets come together side by side.
Step Two: Break down two pallets. You will use the pieces from these pallets to hold the assembly together.
Step Three: Start the outside wall. Connect three pallets to create the left-most wall of the first bin and storage area. As with all of the walls, the pallets are going to be positioned with the stringers laying horizontally. Use the stringers from the disassembled pallets to create a solid wall of pallets.
Step Four: Make the storage area back wall & secure the corner. I cut the deck boards from the disassembled pallets down to 14″ and screwed them to the first wall and back wall pallets to secure the corner. You should secure at least two of the three stringers to ensure a solid build.
To make the back wall, repeat the same process used in Step Three with the left-most wall. Attach three pallets using the the stringers from the disassembled pallets
Step Five: Make the right-most wall & secure the corner. Repeat the process from step four to create your third wall.
Step Six: Add the wall to separate the composting bins from the storage area. This wall will be parallel to the back wall and will go from the left wall to the right wall. To fit between them, it will need to be a little bit shorter.
Connect this separating wall by screwing the deck boards from the disassembled pallets to the stringers of each side wall and the stringers of the separating wall.
Step Seven: Create three compost bins by adding two separator pallets. Using a deck board from a disassembled pallet and screws, secure the divider pallets to the separator wall you just built. This works best if the divider pallets are the same height as the separator wall.
What if I need to keep animals out of my compost?
To make sure your pets don’t get into your compost, you can add 3 additional pallets. Secure these with hinges and a latch if you’d like.
Can I make a DIY Compost Bin without the storage area?
Absolutely! I find the storage area extremely helpful, but you may need to skip this if you’re running low on pallets or space. You’ll need 3 for your back wall, 1 for each side wall, 2 for dividers, and 1 to deconstruct for connecting parts.
If you’d like a smaller storage area, you can get by with 12 pallets (2 for each side wall, 3 for the back wall, 3 for the separating wall, 2 for dividers, and 2 to disassemble for connecting pieces).
DIY Garden Projects
More Pallet Projects
I used pallet wood to create this DIY Ladder Shelf for our home — The beautiful Herringbone Pattern would make a fantastic tabletop, shelving, or even flooring as well. If you need a simpler self, this Pallet Book Shelf is perfect for displaying your favorite bedtime stories in a kid’s room. To display meaningful mementos, build this DIY Shadow Box using just pallet wood and an old picture frame!