Friday, June 15, 2007

100% Recycled

This is the compost bin I have been dreaming of for a couple of years. We began collecting pallets last spring but somehow the project just got lost in the summer shuffle. A few weeks ago I started doing drive-by pallet searches around the neighborhood restaurants and stores. Each time I would happen by one that I thought looked suitable, I would call Big T to come pick it up in the truck. I admit I did try to get one in my car, but it just didn't work out the way I had planned(I drive a Toyota Yaris).

Until this project, I had thought pallets were rather standard fare. But no. They are all different sizes and we had to get rid of a few after all the hard work to lug them home. The first two we found were too big and the slats were too far apart. Smaller spaces between the slats are much more desirable because they will keep your watermelon rinds and your banana peels from hanging out for all to see.

After choosing a nice shady and somewhat discreet location towards the end of our yard, I set to work. I used a long strip of metal that I found in the basement. I have no idea for what it was originally intended, as so many of these odds and ends came with the house,but it was perfect for this. I cut the strip with tin snips and used an assortment of screws to hold the three sides together. I haven't quite figured out how I want to attach the front yet. I want it to be removable, so I may just attach it with two gate latches.
This is a free and very simple project (especially if you have someone who loves you do all the heavy work). Some suppliers come back for their pallets and reuse them, but many are headed for the landfill. I would suggest that unless it definitely appears to be left for trash, always ask first. Most of ours came from an auto parts store. They were stacked up beside a forklift, so I figured that they were off-limits. I went in and asked the manager, and after asking what I was going to do with them, she said to take as many as want.


s said...

What a great project! I've been wanting to construct a compost bin in my yard, and I hadn't considered using pallets. I'd certainly rather recycle pallets than go buy materials.

I'm a little concerned, though, because my backyard doesn't really have a good, out of the way spot for one. Looks like you have a nice location for composting.

Beekeebear said...

I'm jealous of your compost bin :)

I'd love to compost but it doesn't seem to fit in with renting all that much. :\