Pallets being wired together and lined with plastic sheet to improve insulation
Probally the most commonly used compost bin on allotments is the bin made from old pallets. The simplest version consist of four pallets wired together.
The simplest bin can be made using three pallets ( if open fronted), fourpallets
if you want to add a front section or five if you want to add a floor to aid aeration.
Stand the pallets on their sides with the longest side on the ground. The three pallets that are to form the sides and back are then wired together
using 18" lengths of wire using pliers to twist the wire tight. Two lengths on each of the corners should adequate. Insert a wooden plant support, a length of 2”x2”, metal pole or something similar inside each pallet at the three corners and drive
it about 12” into the ground so as to provide support..
The pallet forming the front of the bin can be wired on with two lengths of twisted wire to make hinges and a single length of wire on the opening side so that it can be opened
like a gate or wired losely on both sides so that it can be easily removed to turn or harvest the contents.
A smarter looking compost bin can be made by dismantling the pallets (not always an easy job) and using the boards fixed to a frame or
supports to make the sides and nailing them to four wooden corner posts. These could be 2”x2” or even 4”x4” fence posts. Whether or not these are first knocked into the ground to secure the bin in position is a matter of choice. I now
take the view that it is better to be able to move the bin if required so I keep it free standing.
The boards can be nailed, or screwed, to leave gaps between them allowing better ventilation or pushed together to make a solid side to provide better
insulation.The simplest way to make a front is to make an additional panel that can be wired in place. Alternatively the front can be made so that individual boards can be slotted in place removed one at a time to harvest the contents. Although leaving
gaps between the boards allows air to enter it is not necesary yo have gaps opting for better heat retention by having solid sides. Plywood can be used to line a pallet bin as can plastic sheet to provide a windproof and water prove side. If the
sides are to be let with gaps the bin can be lined with chicken wire to help retain the composting materials.
When using pallet bins there are advantages in building three or four in a bank so that the composting material can be turned from one bin
to the next to aerate it.
The compost can be covered by carpet or plastic to help retain heat and prevent it becoming water logged during prolonged periods of rain. If a fifth pallet is available it can be used as a lid or further cover.
Pallets can normally be obtained at no cost from builders, distribution companies etc.
You tube instructions on making a bin can be seen at:
Instructionsfor other pallet bins at: