The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Solution: How to Build a Three-Bin Compost System
By Anita B. Stone
Compost—there never seems to be enough. And if you keep adding material to a single heap, the stuff is never really finished. The solution? A three-bin compost system.
A three-bin compost system allows you to have different piles of compost in various stages of doneness. You start the pile on one end, move it to the second bin when the first is full and the compost is ready to turn, then repeat, turning compost into the third bin where it finishes. Two people can build a three-bin compost system from this plan—which repurposes free wood pallets—in an afternoon.
Tools and Materials
- 7 untreated or heat-treated pine pallets (each 4′ by 3'4″)
- 1 pound 16d nails
How To Construct a Three-Bin Compost System
1. Level a 4′ by 14′ space with a rake and shovel, and stand up two pallets (with the thicker stringer pieces parallel to the ground) to create a 90 degree, L-shaped angle.
2. Nail the pallets together where the top and bottom stringers meet the slats, as detailed above.
3. Attach a second side pallet the same way to create a three-sided, open-faced box. Again hammering in nails as detailed above, attach another back pallet and side pallet to complete the second open-faced box. Repeat until you have three attached, open-faced boxes.
How To Compost in a Three-Bin Compost System
1. To compost, toss a thick layer of carbonaceous material, such as brown leaves, straw, or wood chips, into the first bin.
2. Shovel nitrogen-rich material, including grass clippings, manure, and kitchen scraps (no meat or bones), on top of the browns and cover with another layer of carbonaceous material.When it has begun to decompose, turn the material into the next bin.
3. Use the now-empty first bin to start the cycle over, moving and turning compost until it finishes "cooking" in the third bin.
Interested in learning more about composting? Check out these articles:
Join the side pallets to the back pallets by driving in two nails at 45-degree angles from the rear of the bin at both top and bottom corners.Illustration by McKibillo
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
- Those Little Produce Stickers? They're a Big Waste Problem ›
- Table-to-Farm-to-Table: Startup Grows Food for Restaurants With ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.
gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images
Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
'We Should Be Retreating Already From the Coastline,' Scientist Suggests After Finding Warm Waters Below Greenland
By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.
Here are some of the challenges the river faces.
By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.