How to Build a Three-Bin Composter - Modern Farmer

How to Build a Three-Bin Composter

Follow our blueprint to build a three-bin composter out of wood pallets.

how to build a three-bin composter
Illustration by McKibillo. Join the side pallets to the back pallets by driving in two nails at 45-degree angles from the rear of the bin at both top and bottom corners.
Photography

Tools and materials

Rake
Shovel
7 untreated or heat-treated pine pallets (each 4′ by 3’4″)
Hammer
1 pound 16d nails

Construction

Level a 4′ by 14′ space with a rake and shovel, and stand up two pallets (with the thicker stringer pieces parallel to the ground) to create a 90-degree, L-shaped angle. Nail the pallets together where the top and bottom stringers meet the slats, as detailed above. Attach a second side pallet the same way to create a three-sided, open-faced box. Again hammering in nails as detailed above, attach another back pallet and side pallet to complete the second open-faced box. Repeat until you have three attached, open-faced boxes.

To compost, toss a thick layer of carbonaceous material, such as brown leaves, straw, or wood chips, into the first bin. Shovel nitrogen-rich material, including grass clippings, manure, and kitchen scraps (no meat or bones), on top of the browns and cover with another layer of carbonaceous material. When it has begun to decompose, turn the material into the next bin. Use the now-empty first bin to start the cycle over, moving and turning compost until it finishes “cooking” in the third bin.

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