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Making a Compost Bay from Pallets

Click thumbnails for larger images


Materials & Tools

3 Pallets,
Planks for the front panels, Battens (offcuts),
Heavy-duty weed mat,
Drill & bits,
Wood Screws,
Staple gun & staples



Step 1

Screw two of the pallets together in an L-shape, as shown.

Step 2

Screw the third pallet to the structure, forming a U-shaped enclosure.

Step 3

Staple heavy-duty weed mat to the inside of all three pallets.

Step 4

Screw 2 short lengths of batten to the bottom edge and 2 at the top as shown.


Step 5

Screw a plank onto each pair of battens. This creates a slot at each side to house the front panels.


Step 6

Cut two boards to the overall width of the structure. Fix these together with two short lengths of batten. Do not put the battens too close to the ends of the planks, or the panel will not slide into position.


Step 7

Staple heavy-duty weed mat to the panel. Leave a short length of mat overhanging the base of the panel.




Step 8

The panel should now slide into the slots.

Step 9

Repeat Steps 6 and 7 until you have enough panels to fully cover the front of the bay.

Step 10

The other panels should slot into position like the first one, with the excess weed mat covering any gaps between boards.

Step 11

The bay is now ready to be filled with compost material, dead leaves etc. 

Here are some photos of a compost bay I built on my allotment in 2021, using the above method.
The removable panels on the front, made it much easier to fill and empty the bay.

Example 1

Three pallets screwed together and lined with weed mat.


Example 2

As the bay filled up, it came to a point where material started to roll out of the front - time to fit the first front panel.


Example 3

With the first panel fitted on the front, there is room for more material.


Example 4

The second panel in place.

Example 5

With the third panel slotted in, the bay could be completely filled.

Example 6

I added a cover using more heavy-duty weed mat, to suppress weeds !

Note: This structure was built to contain manure or finished compost, and store it ready for use. If you are simply making a bay to contain weeds, kitchen scraps or fallen leaves, then the front can be made as a single panel since it will only need to be removed as you turn the contents, or move them to another bay.

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