We have a huge pile of compost in our backyard. We don't have a fence around it or any pretty fancy boards just a big pile of grass, leaves and scraps. We have ours out in the sun too!
Here is a list of composting materials:
evergreen needles (not to many)
bag from vacuum sweeper
No meat or dairy products this will just encourage mice and other animals to visit your compost pile. Don't forget to turn the pile with a shovel everyweek to let the compost get some well needed air.