Compost Bins

Other Ways to Keep Your Compost Tidy

This is one of the nicer compost bins I've seen; neat and tidy, well built and sturdy, and obviously well thought out. Not every compost bin made from recycled materials is as attractive.

Compost Bins

This one features a replaceable front, with several boards that can be slotted into place as the pile is filled, and removed when it's well rotted down and it's time to aerate it - or use it on the garden.

Wire mesh allows good air circulation, to prevent slowing of the decomposition. A top can be put over this to keep the nutrients from leaching in high rainfall areas, or to prevent excess water from snow getting into it.

Two or three bins like this give you adequate space to allow one batch of compost to thoroughly age.

Each time you move it over in the course of aerating it with a pitchfork, you fill up the adjacent bin. Then by the time you get to the third bin, it's ready to use.

Compost Bin at Kettle River Community GardenCompost Bin at Kettle River Community Garden

Pallets are such a useful score at the landfill - or anywhere that uses them for shipping their products.  They are customized to the size specifically needed for whatever is being shipped, so they're not all the same size, making for a logistical nightmare. 

Take the odd shaped ones off their hands.

Multiple bins in sequenceMultiple bins in sequence
Compost bin using scrap lumberCompost bin using scrap lumber
Compost bin with corner bracesCompost bin with corner braces

Another design for compost bins is just squares made out of dimension lumber, usually 2x6, but you can use whatever you have available that is cheap.

Don't use treated lumber.  By the time these rot, it will be  years in the future.  Just replace them as needed.  build several square boxes, without a bottom. 

Stack them to create the bin, fill with your favorite composting ingredients

To turn, start taking off the layers of boxes, one at a time, placing the first one beside the existing bin. 

Fork the compost into it until it's full. 

Stack the next layer of wooden square.

Fill that from the bin, and so on, until you now have  your compost completely turned, with the newest on the bottom, free to rot, and the oldest on the top of the pile.

Several stacks placed beside each other will be constantly turning, producing many cubic yards (or meters) of finished compost.

See the Stacking Composting System in more detail here.

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