The Poor Man's Compost Bin

Eliminating garbage is a key role in reducing global warming. A compost bin is a fantastic way to eliminate a lot of household waste. I like to find ways to make green decisions and lifestyle changes without enduring additional costs to my already high dollar cost of living. When I looked into purchasing a recycled compost bin I was shocked to find how much they actually cost. They start at around $50 and top out around $300 for the more deluxe models. I’m sorry but as a student and homeowner, I don’t have this kind of money to spend on the non essentials. I decided to build my own and drove to the nearest Home Depot. A couple sheets of plywood, screws, and a few 2x4s later and the register rang up a little over $50. Needless to say, the cashier wasn’t thrilled about having to restock all my items.

I couldn’t afford to spend that much at this time so I decided to brainstorm on other ways to come up with a compost bin. While exiting the parking lot at the Depot I happened to notice several pallets scattered along the rear of the building. What you see in the above picture is a very common site at large stores across America and they usually have a hard time getting rid of them. I continued to stew on what I just noticed on the remainder of the drive home. I returned the next day, talked to one of their employees and was soon on my way home with 4 pallets in the back of my truck.
You will need four pallets and a handful of screws or nails to achieve a pretty large and usable compost bin. You will use a pallet on each of the three sides, leaving the front of course open. This leaves you with one extra pallet. This is used for the missing slats on the faces of the other three pallets. Since pallets have spaces between the face boards, you will want to fill those in with the extra boards you remove from the fourth pallet. You should now have 3 full sides that can be screwed or nailed at the corners for stability. You now have a fully functional garbage eater and you should be out less than $5 dollars for the screws. Here is a list of 103 items you can compost.
Paper napkins
Freezer-burned vegetables
Burlap coffee bags
Pet hair
Potash rock
Post-it notes
Freezer-burned fruit
Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles
Matches (paper or wood)
Seaweed and kelp
Chicken manure
Leather dust
Old, dried up and faded herbs
Bird cage cleanings
Paper towels
Brewery wastes
Grass clippings
Hoof and horn meal
Molasses residue
Potato peelings
Unpaid bills
Gin trash (wastes from cotton plants)
Rabbit manure
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Cow manure
Winter rye
Grapefruit rinds
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Grape wastes
Garden soil
Powdered/ground phosphate rock
Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
Jell-o (gelatin)
Blood meal
Winery wastes
Spanish moss
Fish meal
Aquarium plants
Beet wastes
Sunday comics
Harbor mud
Felt waste
Wheat straw
Peat moss
Kleenex tissues
Milk (in small amounts)
Soy milk
Tree bark
Starfish (dead ones!)
Melted ice cream
Flower petals
Pumpkin seeds
Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Expired flower arrangements
Elmer's glue
BBQ'd fish skin
Bone meal
Citrus wastes
Stale potato chips
Rhubarb stems
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco wastes
Bird guano
Hog manure
Dried jellyfish
Wheat bran
Guinea pig cage cleanings
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Granite dust
Moldy cheese
Shredded cardboard
Dolomite lime
Cover crops
Quail eggs (OK, I needed a 'Q' word)
Rapeseed meal
Bat guano
Fish scraps
Tea bags (black and herbal)
Apple cores
Electric razor trimmings
Kitchen wastes
Outdated yogurt
Toenail clippings
Shrimp shells
Crab shells
Lobster shells
Pie crust
Leather wallets
Onion skins
Bagasse (sugar cane residue)
Watermelon rinds
Date pits
Goat manure
Olive pits
Peanut shells
Burned oatmeal (sorry, Mom)
Lint from clothes dryer
Bread crusts
Cooked rice
River mud
Tofu (it's only soybeans, man!)
Wine gone bad (what a waste!)
Banana peels
Fingernail and toenail clippings
Chocolate cookies
Wooden toothpicks
Moss from last year's hanging baskets
Stale breakfast cereal
'Dust bunnies' from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Wool socks
Artichoke leaves
Leather watch bands
Fruit salad
Tossed salad (now THERE's tossing it!)
Brown paper bags
Soggy Cheerios
Theater tickets
Lees from making wine
Burned toast
Animal fur
Horse manure
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Coconut hull fiber
Old or outdated seeds
Macaroni and cheese
Liquid from canned vegetables
Liquid from canned fruit
Old beer
Wedding bouquets
Greeting card envelopes
Dead bees and flies
Horse hair
Peanut butter sandwiches
Dirt from soles of shoes, boots
Fish bones
Ivory soap scraps
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Produce trimmings from grocery store
Cardboard cereal boxes (shredded)
Grocery receipts
Urine (It's true! Read the letters below)
Joe Curnes