How to Build a 3-bin Compost System for FREE

wood pallet compost bin

This DIY pallet compost bin system is a nice alternative to the expensive plastic tumblers that you can buy at the store. It is very simple, completely free, and fast! In this case, it only took a day to gather the materials, level the ground, and build the bins.

In this three-bin system, the left and middle bin are piled up with materials and turned every week or so. When ready, the materials are transferred to the last bin and turned over as often as possible to finish the process of creating rich, organic garden compost.

Pallet compost bin

These bins require minimal materials, starting with the pallets. You’ll need seven pallets of the same size for the back and side walls of the bins, plus a few more if you want them enclosed.  

With these pallets, scrap pieces of wood were inserted into the larger gaps of the pallets to keep the compost from spilling through.

Turning a pallet into a compost bin

The pallets are arranged as shown, with three making up the back, two in the middle, and one at each end. The plastic bottoms seen here were found discarded and will make ideal trays for collecting the juices that come off the pile and to keep the pile off the ground.  

If you are unable to find something similar, a pallet would work well for the bottom sections, or the bins can be placed directly on the ground.

3-bin pallet compost bins

For added stability, old striker plates from doors were used as brackets to secure some of the pallets together, resulting in a nice, sturdy frame for the bins. A garden stake was pounded into the ground and secured to each of the outer side walls of the bin.

pallet-bins4

See the video below for more information on building these bins, along with some good tips on how to layer the materials in the compost piles for the best results.

Since publishing this article, we’ve found similar 3-bin pallet compost bin systems that others have built. Here are a couple of them for inspiration if you’re looking to build something like this yourself: 

wood pallet compost bin
Pallet compost bins – Joe Gardener

One great example is this compost bin from Joe Gardener. His compost system is built using new pallets and has been in use for more than ten years now. That’s pretty amazing!

Pallet compost bin

Another similar project was this one, submitted by a reader over at One Hundred Dollars a Month. Both of the above systems keep the compost directly on the ground, which will simplify your build if you can’t find something that fits at the bottom of the bins.  

Building with wood pallets

Remember, pallets make the perfect building block for all kinds of things, from pallet fences to vertical planters. Compost bins made from pallets are a functional, simple, inexpensive addition to your yard and garden. 

Pallet compost bins

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