Compost or nature's fertilizer is a wonderful way to recycle yard clippings and kitchen waste. Starting a compost pile is not hard and can be done very inexpensively. Waste deposited into a compost bin becomes usable as fertalizer within a year.
The simplest way to build a compost bin is with a length of wire woven fencing. Create a three to four foot (approximately one meter) circle and bend the cut off tabs of wire over the opposite end to hold it together. Begin by placing a layer of leaves or grass clippings into the circle. Daily add the kitchen waste such as eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, etc. Add more leaves or clippings as they become available.
A second method is using a fifty-five gallon drum. Use a drill to bore holes in a random pattern in the lower 12 inches (30 cm) of the drum. Fill with grass clippings, leaving and kitchen waste. If you can find a lid for the drum, the compost will cook faster and be ready to use sooner. This is also a good method for those who live in smaller spaces, such as neighborhoods, as the barrel would not be considered as unsightly as the woven wire method.
The third method takes more work and effort on your part. Call around to local manufacturers to see if you can locate wooden pallets. Many companies give these away or sell them for a reasonable rate. You will need ten pallets of approximately the same size. You will also need three hinges and enough screws to hold the whole bin together.
Begin by forming three sides of the first box by screwing three pallets together in the shape of a "U". For the second and third section of your compost bin, you would use two pallets each to attach the back and sides.
Attach the hinges to the open front of each compartment of your bin, and then attach the remaining three pallets to the hinges.
Start your compost bin by filling compartment one first. When it becomes full and has a month or so to "cook", you then shovel the contents into the second bin and begin using the first bin for new material. When the first bin is again full, transfer the second bin to the third and repeat the first procedure. This method works well in large spaces, such as country homes or if you are doing serious gardening.
During the summer months, your compost bin will work the hardest at decomposing the material. If you begin your compost bin in the early spring, by the following spring you will have the perfect fertilizer for your garden ready to use.