Allotment Diary June 25th 2014 – Building A Compost Heap From Pallets

In this video I will detail how to put together a compost heap from pallets. Many companies will give away pallets and be happy for you to take away their “rubbish”. They are useful for lots of projects at an allotment, not just a compost bin. To build a compost bin you will need 9 pallets of roughly the same size and in reasonable condition.

This compost bin has two compartments and is made firstly by putting two pallets laying next to each other on the floor. These are secured together (nails and wire in this case). Two pallets are used to form the back with another two on either side for the edges. A third is used in the middle as a separator between the two bins and then two more can be used as fronts for the compost bin to allow you to pile your compost higher.

Build the bin with the side of the pallet with the most pieces of wood on facing inwards and secure the compost bin to the ground using sticks as pegs. Then tie, nail or screw the pallets together so you have a reasonably secure structure.

The inside of the compost bin is lined with black plastic bags so that the compost is contained and it keeps the heat in. Black bin bags from the supermarket are not going to be strong enough. Here I have used strong black bags that manure is delivered in though you can get tarp and use that instead or rubble bags from a DIY shop. These are then stapled to the wood and overlap each other to form the inside of the bin.

All in all you are talking maybe an hour and a half to two hours of work to build the compost bin. It really isn’t difficult to do and looks fantastic when it is completed. It also keeps your compost contained and saves you having unsightly piles of rotting plants on your allotment or in your garden.

These can easily be expanded to have a third compost bin with the addition of another four pallets if you want three bins. Some people will keep one bin empty and then turn the compost between the bins. Turning is vital as it keeps the aerobic reaction going that creates compost quickly.

There is more in this video though the compost bin is a must have for any allotment owner and much better than the black dalek style bins that many of us use.


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