How to Build a Fence Around a Rubbish Area

If you are stuck, even short term, with a rubbish area or trash pile, whether it is material you are waiting to compost out, or garbage you have no way of removing, you may find it beneficial to fence it off to limit the view and to prevent animals from scattering it or using it for a breeding ground. Here are some suggestions about how to accomplish this task.


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    Clear a fence line around the rubbish. Push any rubbish or undesirable material toward the pile, and move other material, brush, and obstacles away from the pile to be dealt with later.
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    Measure the perimeter of the pile and calculate the length so you can estimate how much material you will need for the fence. You have three common choices for fence material, along with several more exotic ones, depending on your budget and needs. Here are examples:
    • Chain link fencing. This is a durable material that will prevent rubbish from scattering, and is effective at keep larger animals like dogs, bears, coyotes, and others out of the pile. There are also vinyl strips that can be woven into the fabric to limit the view.
    • Wood privacy type fencing. This is not quite as durable as chain link, and generally is more expensive and requires more labor, but it does create an attractive fence and will keep most animals out of the rubbish.
    • Welded wire fabric fencing. This material is made with wires, welded together in a grid, for example, 2inch by 4inch, then galvanized. It is inexpensive but not very durable, and is less effective at keeping animals out, especially smaller rodents.
    • Panel fencing, Rohn type fence, and even corrugated metal roof panels can also be used, each having their own advantages and disadvantages.
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    Buy the fencing material and suitable posts, as well as a gate (if you don't build your own), and fasteners. Use the distance around the rubbish pile allowing for a buffer (clear area immediately inside the fence) to estimate the number of posts and the amount of fencing you will need. Since the fence run may not be straight from corner to corner ( it is very likely you may choose to circle the pile, depending on its shape), it may be difficult to get an exact length for the finished fence.
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    Start at one side of the location where you plan to put your gate. Use a stout post here, since you may be stretching/pulling chainlink/wire mesh from it, and it will also have a gate hanging from it. Dig your post hole to a suitable depth (30 inches is common, depending on how firm your ground is), set the post in the hole, and fill in around it, packing the dirt as you do so.
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    Set the next post in line with the first, keeping an equal distance from the edge of the rubbish pile, and about 8 feet from the starting point. This distance may be shorter if the pile is small and you follow the circumference of it, so adjust as needed.
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    Continue setting posts equally spaced around the pile until you are near your starting point. About three or four posts from your gate, you will want to measure the distance so you have fairly equal spacing and the final post hits where it should for the gate to fit. Finish installing and packing your posts, and you will be ready to install the fencing material.
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    Roll out the fence wire (if using) around the perimeter you have created with the posts, then attach one end to the first gate post. Lift sections of wire up to each post, pulling it tight and attaching it as you go, until you reach the opposite gate post. Since we haven't specified what type post you are using, you will either be nailing the wire with fence staples or tying it with wires, but either way, make sure it is securely fastened.
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    Nail rail boards (typically treated 2X4s) if you are using wood privacy fencing, one at the top of the post, one in the middle, and one about a foot from the ground between your posts. Now, nail fence boards to these, standing upright, and continuing around the rubbish pile.
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    Add material to block the view of the rubbish pile if you need to. Privacy fence will not require anything, but chainlink or wire fabric may require you add material, either vinyl slats or a plastic mesh fabric made for this purpose to hide the rubbish pile.
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    Hang your gate and install a latch on it, and your job is complete.


  • If you are building the fence for a temporary solution to the rubbish pile, use screws that can easily be removed when you take the fence down.


  • Building fences, and for that matter, keeping a rubbish pile on your property may require a permit from your local authorities.

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