Instructables
Picture of Pentagon Composter
This is the simplest and quickest compost bin to build.
The necessary materials can be obtained for free anywhere.

I designed this with The Pentagon in mind, as a way for our armed forces to deal with their organic waste without burning or trucking it, both of which expose our troops to harm.

Setup and knock down is very quick and easy.
This composter will eventually compost itself, which is a good thing, since it's made from waste materials and is so easy to build.

Want your compost quicker? Try a Compost Tumbler
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials
It took me about a minute to find the materials in our dumpster area here on the base. Here's what you need:

5 identical wooden panels. If the ones you find are too big or small, cut them down or nail on another section. I found some 40" wide chunks of weathered plywood of varying lengths from packing crates. Don't use pressure-treated wood. For anything.

Rope, cord, or wire. I found a 20foot chunk of polypropylene rope and some smaller pieces of polypropylene rope.

Paint: Optional. Since my composter is intended for the military I chose olive drab. Since I'm on a former military base which is now a superfund site, all the military shades of paint are very plentiful in orphan piles.

Step 2: Trim the Panels

Picture of Trim the Panels
The plywood I found was pretty rotten around the edges so I pulled the nails and sawed an inch off three sides. Then I scored each panel at the same height and sawed them same.
I ended up with five panels 37" (about one meter) square.

The dimensions are not critical at all. Make yours big enough for the quantity of compost you'll get, or to fit in the space you have available.
danmellow24 days ago

pretty cool stuff :-)

justbennett4 years ago
I like your style. You should be in charge of a lot of stuff.
bFusion4 years ago
My only concern with paint is if any chemicals would leech off the paint into your compost. I'm not sure if that would happen or not, though, so maybe I'm just worrying about nothing...
Black Ethel5 years ago
My landlord wants us to use a compost bin and not just heap the compost in the corner of the backyard. But compost bins are not cheap and I'm not especially handy. This is the best and easiest way to make a compost bin I've ever seen...THANK YOU! :-)
Kiteman6 years ago
Oh, step 3, image 3 - haunted drill!
Somebody's up just a little too early... :-P Interesting shape for a composter tho...
Not early, late - I'm in the UK, hours behind California.
Ah, I thought that the time stamp was for the posters local time, not the time in California...learn something new every day. Let's see, I'm in Ohio, which is 4 hours ahead of California and my friend in England is 5 hrs ahead of me...soo you're 9 hrs ahead of California meaning it was midday at the time of the post (if my numbers are right, about 1:40p) meaning the kookiness of the comment probably wasn't from sleep deprivation. Crazy Brits! Just kidding of course... Aside from my pastime of poking fun at the British (all in good fun of course!), I'm working on an instructable for a kite made in grade school awhile that I believe worked by the magnus effect that I surprisingly haven't spotted anywhere on the interweb highway (if I wasn't so lazy I'd have it done) and while that is completely off topic (apologies to the author) you're name is, after all, Kiteman so I thought you may be interested. Crap, now that I've told you about it, I need to finish it...
Magnus effect? That'll need a high wind.
thingy6 years ago
I imagine old pallets would work well for this. They are about the right size. You would benefit from the additional air circulation. Critters could be a problem but you could surround with chicken wire. However, there would be no need to cut or drill holes. My mother usually just made a mound directly on the ground without any sort of covering. It worked like a charm. I can still remember the steam that rose from it in the winter.
woofboy1116 years ago
I need another compost bin. Maybe I'll try this, although my technique seems to be a lot simpler. I just take a big plastic garbage can with a few holes drilled in the bottom and fill it up with food scraps until it's filled to the top. When it's full, I cover the food scraps with a few bags of free used coffee grinds from starbucks and then plant some sort of plant in the grinds. When I harvest whatever I'm growing, the compost is normally nice good dirt by then...
Smart idea, it looks very cool, and looks very easy to do, great job.
darkmuskrat6 years ago
I would just switch the rope to a hemp or natural rope.
Also the paint to an oil.
Just to make it 100% decomposable(A.K.A. Plastic rope=bad)
i like your reason for doing this and it looks like its really easy :-) good job and very easy to understand!