Reducing waste

Composting

Composting is an inexpensive natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. Compost is easy to use and helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

How to compost

Make sure your compost bin is ideally located, this means:

  • placing it on bare soil or grass, so that worms can get in and moisture can drain out
  • not placing it on concrete or paved areas
  • choosing somewhere you can easily access
  • leaving enough room for you to mix your compost and get the finished compost out
  • ideally finding a partially sunny spot but don't worry if it's in the shade it will still compost

Once you're ready to start composting:

  • collect your fruit and vegetable scraps and every couple of days empty them into your compost bin
  • line your kitchen bin with newspaper to absorb moisture (this can also be composted)
  • keep adding a mixture of greens (sappy materials such as vegetable peelings and grass clippings) and browns (fibrous materials such as¬†twigs and card) to your compost bin
  • give it a stir occasionally to add some air
  • add more greens or sprinkle with water if it gets too dry
  • add more scrunched-up paper and give it a stir if it gets too wet

It could take up to a year to produce good compost. The process slows down in cooler weather. Finished compost is a dark brown, soil-like layer that you will find at the bottom of your compost bin (accessible via a small hatch). It won't look like the compost you buy from the shops and it might still have some bits of non-decomposed material such as twigs or eggshells.

What to put in your compost bin

The following materials can all be composted:

  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • twigs
  • grass clippings
  • leaves
  • hedge clippings
  • old flowers and plants
  • plant stems
  • hay and straw
  • teabags and coffee grounds
  • bedding from vegetarian pets such as rabbits
  • crushed eggshells
  • annual weeds
  • paper and card

What not to put in your compost bin

Although they will decompose, the following materials are not suitable for home composting:

  • meat and fish scraps
  • cooked food scraps
  • dog or cat litter
  • nappies
  • bones
  • dairy products
  • diseased plants

Get a compost bin

To order your compost bin go to Get Composting or call 0845 130 60 90.