There are lots of types of compost bin available to buy, at the garden centre or via your local council, but it’s also easy to make your own. All you need is a bit of time, some basic tools and some old pallets.
Find out how to make compost.
A compost bin gives you the satisfaction of turning kitchen and garden waste into rich, crumbly compost, which you can use as a mulch in the garden. What’s more, because food and garden waste releases methane (a harmful greenhouse gas) when sent to landfill, composting is good for the planet, too.
Here’s how to make a DIY compost bin.
Our compost bin shopping list
You might already have what you need to get started on making your compost bin. If you don’t, we’ve done the hard work for you with our handy shopping list.
- Hawksmoor Carbon Steel Rake 350mm | from £21.98 at Toolstation
- Grade One Stamped Euro Pallets | from £14.99 at safefence
- 1.5m Wooden Posts Treated – 10 Pack | from £38.99 at premierbarriers
- Magnusson Carbon steel Sledge Demolition hammer 6.61lb | from £18.90 at B&Q
- Bahco 10-24-51 Bowsaw 24In | from £23.94 at Amazon
- Stainless Steel Wire Rope 1mm Drum 100m | from £13.10 at Essential Supplies
You Will Need
- Spade or rake
- Strong wooden pallets (four)
- Sturdy wooden stakes (six)
- Bow saw
- Strong wire
Clear the area where you’re going to put the compost bin and, if necessary, level the ground using a spade or a rake. You need to stand the bin on bare soil, not paving. Add a base of chicken wire if you are worried about rats getting in.
Take a pallet and stand it on its long edge to form the back edge of the compost bin. Push a stake through the two layers of the pallet at either end, using a sledgehammer to drive them firmly into the ground – about 20-30cm deep.
Position the remaining two pallets at right angles to the first to make the sides, butting the corners tightly together to stop compost spilling through the gaps. Fix in place with stakes in each corner, as in step 2.
To keep the structure stable, wire the pallets together at each corner. Trim the tops of the stakes with a bow saw.
Wire the last pallet onto the front of the right side pallet to make a gate – you’ll need to open it when you want to get to the compost – and start filling your bin with garden and kitchen waste.
Cover your bin and keep it moist
Cover your bin with carpet to keep it warm – this will help to speed up the composting process. And check that it is moist – you may need to water it lightly in warm weather.