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How to Make Your Own Compost Bin

Composting is a wonderful thing. It allows you to use organic / vegetable waste from your kitchen and garden, thereby reducing the amount of stuff going to landfills, and producing something useful that will help your garden grow healthier. Making your own compost requires a little bit of effort. Although compost can be made by piling or heaping organic material, you'll get better and faster results if you use a compost bin.

A compost bin can be made of a variety of materials. Most of the compost bins available for purchase are made of heavy plastic. But you can make your own bin out of materials you likely have lying around the house, or can be purchased cheaply. Try a few of these ideas:

Heavy Mesh Wire
I found this method too wobbly for my taste, but it's a quick, easy way to contain your compost heap. It's also highly mobile - you can lift the wire easily and move it to another location when you're ready to start a new pile. Simply make a circle of the wire, and attach the openings with small wire. You'll want to be able to open and close the container fairly frequently to turn your compost. To give the container more shape, drive stakes into the ground at four corners, and wrap the wire around the stakes. Secure wire to stakes with a short piece of wire, or simply squeeze the wire around the stakes.

Wooden Pallette Compost Bins
Wooden pallettes can be found at many warehouses for free. We had several left over from deliveries of patio bricks and lumber. (Watch your neighbors to see who's putting in a patio or re-doing their roof. They might be willing to give you the pallettes their materials arrived on.) These we attached at the edges to make three sides. The front panel was attached at one side with hinges, so we could open and close the door, and latched at the other side with a common hook and latch. For the top, we bought a 4x8 piece of thick plywood and cut it to size. We attached it at the back with hinges, so it could be easily lifted to add materials.

Old Fencing
Replacing your old wood fence? Don't throw the slats away. If possible, take down the fence in sections. These sections can be used to make a great compost bin, ready-made with small space between the slats so your compost can breathe.

Dresser Drawers
No, really. Take an old dresser / bureau. Knock out the bottom of each drawer. With a few 2x4's you can attach the drawers together to make a small compost bin. Detach the top of the dresser and attach to the top of your bin with hinges at the back for easy accessibility.

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