"Pallet" Compost bins

Pallets being wired together and lined with plastic sheet to improve insulation

Probally the  most commonly used compost bin on allotments is the bin made from old pallets. The simplest version consist of four pallets wired together.

The simplest bin can be made using four pallets or if you want to add a floor, an additional pallet is required.

Stand the pallets on their sides with the longest side on the ground. The three pallets that are to form the sides and back are then wired together using 18" lengths of wire using pliers to twist the wire tight. Two lengths on each of the corners should adequate. Insert a wooden plant support, a length of 2”x2”, metal pole or something similar inside each pallet at the three corners and drive it about 12” into the ground so as to provide support..

The pallet forming the front of the bin can be wired on with two lengths of twisted wire to make   hinges  and a single length of wire on the opening side so that it can be opened like a gate or wired losely on both sides so that it can be easily removed to turn or harvest the contents.

A smarter looking compost bin can be made by dismantling  the pallets (not always an easy job) and using the boards fixed to a frame or supports to make the sides and nailing them to four wooden corner posts. These could be 2”x2” or even 4”x4” fence posts. Whether or not these are first knocked into the ground to secure the bin in position is a matter of choice. I now take the view that it is better to be able to move the bin if required so I keep it free standing.

The boards can be nailed, or screwed, to leave gaps between them allowing better ventilation or pushed together to make a solid side to provide better insulation.The simplest way to make a front is to make an additional panel that can be wired in place.  Alternatively the front can be made so that individual boards can be slotted in place removed one at a time to harvest the contents.

When using pallet bins there are advantages in building three or four in a bank so that the composting material can be turned from one bin to the next to aerate it.

The compost can be covered by carpet or plastic to help retain heat and prevent it becoming water logged during prolonged periods of rain. If a fifth pallet is available it can be used as a lid or further cover.


 Pallets can normally be obtained at no cost from builders, distribution companies etc.

You tube instructions on making a bin can be seen at:


Instructionsfor other pallet bins  at:




  • Pallet bin with vertical slats

  • Pallet bin with horizontal slats

  • Three close boarded bins

Commercially available Wooden Compost bins

Primrose Easy Load compost bins

This range of low cost wooden bins is available in 449 litre, 530 litre, 718 litre and 897 litre sizes. They range in price from £21.99 to £39.99.

 The bins are made of boards on three sides with gaps between them to provide ventilation and easily removed angled wooded slats at the front.


Wooden Composter:

Traditional style compost bins still have a place in the garden and especially on the allotment. Wooden composter garden waste into compost. 

This composter shown is one of a range sold by Primrose   ranging from 373 litres to 893 litres with an extra large model for the serious gardener. It is supplied in  an easy to assemble flat pack kit that just slots together. It is pressure treated and guaranteed against rot for 15 years.




Compact Wooden Compost Bin

Recycleworks   supply a range of wooden compost bins starting  with a Compact bin of 270 litres capacity. This bin has  closed sides prevent drying out and ensures even composting.     It has    sliding panels for easy access and is suitable  for small gardens. If the “compost bug” bites or if you want to meet the challenge of hot composting addfitional modules can be added  to double or treble the capacity.

Standing at 75cm, almost 30 inches high, the compost bin has been specifically designed to eliminate back strain when  lifting materials into it. Recycleworks(now Gardeningworks) has a range of wooden bins as do other suppliers (see below).

 The wood used for all  Recycleworks compost bins  is traceable and conforms to the strictest FSC certification.

Other suppliers include:













Beehive Composters

Beehive composters tend to quite expensive when compared with conventional wooden composters of the same capacity. They are also often on the small side, as ideally we are looking for a composter of a metre square. However, Beehive composters look attractive and can almost is regarded as a decorative feature in a small garden.  This home Beehive Composter manufactured from Pressure Treated Softwood is currently being offered by  Buyshedsdirect reduced from £96.99 to £69.64

The lid can be held open with handy prop and there is a bottom-opening flap for easy Compost Retrieval

The Beehive Composter  http://www.buyshedsdirect.co.uk/

Other suppliers include: