Construction of Economical and Practical Compost Bins

Source(s): Gary R Peiffer

The most common materials used for compost bins are concrete blocks, 14-gauge wire fencing and wooden pallets. Concrete blocks and wire are readily available at hardware and building supply stores. Used, wooden pallets can often be picked up from manufacturing companies for free or a small fee. It takes 4-5 pallets wired together to make a suitable compost bin.

Wire bins

Wire fencing for compost bins comes in rolls 3 feet wide by 50 or 100 feet in length and are made of 14-gauge steel wire which is usually referred to as welded wire or fence wire. Because you will only need a about a ten (10) foot long piece of wire, inquire if the dealer is willing to cut fencing to size. This length of wire should provide you with enough wire to overlap the ends and fasten them with cord or twine. Once fastened, you have produced a wire compost cylinder, 3 feet high by 3 feet wide.

Residents should contact their local sanitation departments to inquire about the availability of wire bins that may be available for homeowner composting. In addition, many service-oriented hardware stores are willing to cut wire bins to size (10 foot lengths) for homeowners interested in establishing small backyard or community compost areas (cost $5-$6).

Commercial bins

Commercial bins of various shapes and sizes are available everywhere including: hardware stores, garden centers, garden catalogs and mail order, Costco Department Stores and many others. These bins are often more attractive but are also more costly usually starting at a minimum of $50.

For demonstrations of various bin types and composting methods, visit compost demonstration sites in your area. In many counties, Master Gardeners have constructed various types of compost bins and offer free classes on composting. Call your local County Extension Service for more information. Also, County Extension Agents and staff are available via telephone and email to assist you with composting, gardening, and landscaping questions and information. Please call for more information.

Resource(s): Composting and Mulching

Center Publication Number: 16

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