You already want to
You already want to compost food waste.
We all want to reduce waste sent to
DIY - Do It Yourself
If you are handy, have a yard or garden space, and the
desire to manage your own compost, take advantage of our free compost pit
OBJECTIVE - to build metal mesh and wood walls
around a compost pit in the earth, with optional front gate and lid.
3 foot boards - 12 - 20; 4 boards for each wall
metal hardware cloth - 3 - 4 rolls
staple gun with staples
corner metal plate braces with screw holes and
screws; 4 corner braces for each wall panel
1. Choose your compost pit location.
2. Lay your boards out on a flat surface to make
the square wall.
3. Staple the hardware cloth to the first board
as an anchor. Be sure to line it up with the two boards on either side so
that the hardware cloth attaches to all four boards that make the perimeter
of the wall. The more staples used, the more solid the connection. To
ensure tight stapling, put more weight on the end of the stapler.
4. Measure the rolled mesh to fit, and attach to
all four wood boards, then cut the mesh from the roll to the desired size.
5. Staple the mesh to the remaining three
boards, be sure the connection between the boards at the corners are tight.
6. Turn the wall made from mesh and boards over
so that the mesh is down and the back side of the bare boards are facing
up. Use the screws provided with corner metal plate braces to secure the
corner attachments for all 4 corners.
7. Do this for the additional 2 walls.
8. Connect the three walls, mesh side in, on one
side. The three connected will form a U shape, or look like 3 sides of a
9. To connect the walls, cut 3 x 3 inch mesh
squares and staple these tightly around the corners of wall 1 and 2 at a 90
degree angle. Each corner should have three stapled mesh squares to connect
the top, middle and bottom of two walls together. Do this for the second
intersection between walls 2 and 3, be sure to keep the mesh side in and the
wood frame side out.
10. Now place the three connected mesh walls in
your selected compost area, and dig up your pit in the center of it. The
pit needs only to be about 10 inches deep, but may become deeper when the
composter is in use.
11. Optionally, make two more walls following
the above procedure, steps 2 - 6. Wall 4 will be your front door, wall 5
will be the optional lid.
12. Tightly connect wall 4 to the edge of wall 1
or 3 using the three 3 x 3 inch mesh squares attached with staples OR using
2 manufactured hinges. Install the door handle in a convenient location.
Be sure that the swing of the door allows for wide opening so that one can
easily stand in the "doorway" to turn the compost.
13. For the optional lid, connect wall 5 to wall
1 or 2 or 3 with either mesh squares or manufactured hinges. The lid should
be able to flip all the way over when open, and rest back to back with a
wall, or rest on a support. It will only be connected on one side. Add one
or two handles in a convenient place on the lid for use.
Now the compost pit with 3 - 5 walls is READY
FOR USE! The organisms that exist in your soil will be the compost
activators (along with you and your shovel!) though you are free to add
extra worms or organic seaweed fertilizer. Start to fill the compost pit,
adding green and brown items in layers. Green items are grass clippings,
kitchen scraps, garden weeds. Brown items are shredded paper, autumn
leaves, wood chips, straw. On a regular basis, use a shovel to dig and turn
the compost pile. The more often the pile is turned, the faster your
compost will be finished. Turning once or twice per week is a really good
start. If one is excited about the compost, turning it every day can be
You might wish to build your walls with bricks,
stones, cinder blocks, or slatted wood. Feel free to alter your dimensions
to suit the space.