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Hands sift through compost ready for use

WIRE (MESH) COMPOST BIN

A wire-mesh holding unit is one of the least expensive and easiest units to build. It can be made from galvanized chicken wire (ungalvanized wire will not last long), welded wire, or hardware cloth. The wire mesh bin also provides for easy turning of the organic materials. Simply lift the wire, set it to the side, and use a garden fork or shovel to scoop the organics back into the pile while harvesting finished compost from the bottom.

Materials

  • 10-foot length, 36 inches tall, of 1-inch galvanized chicken wire, OR 10-foot length of 1/2-inch wide hardware cloth
  • Hardware cloth
  • Heavy wire for ties
  • Three or four 1' tall wooden or metal posts (for chicken wire bin only)

Tools

  • Heavy-duty wire or tin snips
  • Pliers
  • Hammer (for chicken wire bin only)
  • Metal tile (for hardware cloth bin only)
  • Work gloves

Construction Details

Chicken Wire
  1. Fold back 3–4 inches of wire at each end of cut piece to provide a strong, clean edge that will not poke or snag, and that will be easy to latch.
  2. Stand the wire in a circle and set it in place for the compost pile.
  3. Cut the heavy wire into lengths for ties. Bind the ends of the chicken wire together with the wire ties using pliers.
  4. Space wood or metal posts along the inside of the chicken wire circle. Holding the posts tightly against the wire, pound them firmly into the ground to provide support.
Hardware Cloth
  1. Trim the ends of the hardware cloth so that the wires are flush with a cross wire to get rid of edges that could poke or scratch hands. Lightly file each wire along the cut edge to ensure safe handling when opening and closing the bin.
  2. Bend the hardware cloth into a circle, and stand it in place for the compost pile.
  3. Cut the heavy wire into lengths for ties. Bind the ends of the hardware cloth together with wire ties using pliers.