I am looking for an inexpensive way to make a compost bin using easy to find recycled materials. I don't want it to be very large and it needs to be easy to turn the composted material. I just need to recycle garden and kitchen waste. Any suggestions?
Hardiness Zone: 4a
By RocknChr from Ord, NE
I have composted for years in my backyard. The most inexpensive compost pile is just that: a place where you pile up your compostable items and let them do their thing. No fence, no container, just a pile. However, most people, including me, like their compost to be a little more contained. I bought $4.00 worth of chicken wire and simple shaped it into a circle, with one large "stake" that was made from a piece of fallen tree branch. I wrapped the ends of the wire around the stake. The chicken wire is a little less than waist high so I can stir my pile when it needs it. And when it comes time to empty it out, I simply unwrap one end from the stake, open up the circle, shovel out the compost, and spread it where I want it.
By the way, it didn't take all $4.00 worth of chicken wire to make one compost enclosure either, I had plenty left over!
Good luck and have fun. From: Granma Peggy
How about getting a barrel. With a lid when you want to turn it just roll it. Just make sure that it didn't have any harmful chemicals in it originally. Food grade plastic barrels would probably last the longest.
I have seen one made out of 3 wood pallets, the kind you usually find for free. Most stores will have them outside near their loading docks. And if you can't find them you can always log onto a freecycle website (if you have one in your area, they are great) and post a "wanted" asking for them there. People are always "giving" them away (because that's what we at freecycle.com do on freecycle, give away things). Just secure 2 sides with a bottom and voila! You have a compost bin that breathes (make sure you use galvanized screws so they won't rust, those are less expensive than aluminum or stainless steal). You can lay something like branches on the bottom, opposite direction of wood slats, so items won't fall through the openings easily. Can always get a fourth pallet too, add a couple of hinges (so easy) and have a lid also. I hope that's been helpful.
If animals aren't a problem, you can make a simple bin with chicken wire. Leave the bottom open and the area where it is placed can be changed, if you want, leaving a very rich spot for planting. Just move the compost around with a rake. The center will get "hot" where the action is, so constantly moving the contents around, daily is great, and add water so the texture is like a wrung-out dish rag. You can cover the top if frequent rains are a problem and it will get too wet. that is a real basic pile. Look at pictures of commercial ones for other ideas, container types,etc. As long as it gets air and moisture it will work. Sandra
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