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The leaves are going to start piling up soon and you need something to put them in so you can generate compost for your garden. A trash can will get the first batch done but what about the rest and besides a trash can with a lid that closes tight won't offer enough air to circulate.

Circulation is key -- if there is no air it slows down the decomposition process. Having a large compost pile builds more heat, which speeds up decomposition.

Here is an economical and roomy compost bin. Grab some pallets. Used pallets are free. Most stores have them stacked up in the back. They come stocked with merchandise and when they are unloaded they are just hanging around in the way. Make sure that your pallets are the same size, otherwise you will be lopsided.

Some pallets are treated with a chemical called methyl bromide. It kills insects, in order to prevent the spread of invasive species. You don't want those pallets -- you want pallets that have been heat-treated in a kiln or a oven. Look for a stamp on the pallet that says "HT" for heat treated rather than "MB" for methyl bromide.

You need five pallets for this. Put one on the floor. Stand the other pallets up, they will be your walls. Tie the walls together with clothesline and voila -- a compost bin.

You can add a PVC pipe so you can get more air to circulate in your bin. Just cut one so it's long enough that the pipes will stick out through the walls of the bin. Drill some holes in the pipe. Add some leaves or twigs or any kind of plant material to your bin and put PVC pipes on top of that. Add more plant material and put some pipes on top of that have them run in the opposite direction add more plant matter. (It's like lasagna without the sauce.)

There are alternatives in the creation process. Some are more complicated, but not much. You can find plenty of plans on the Internet. One good source is Growing a Greener World.  

You are now free to let the stink begin.


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