Reduce your waste by composting
Composting is one of the best ways to reduce waste and help the environment:
- 20 per cent of all the waste in an average household bin is made up of organic material
- composting is even more environmentally friendly than recycling as no energy is required for transport or in the recycling process - it also provides you with a free product to use in your own garden
Garden composters can be made of various materials including wood, recycled plastic and are used to contain biodegradable waste in your garden. Using a composter can help to prevent odours in your household waste bin, as it takes away many of the items that are likely to smell.
Frequently asked questions about composting
What can I put in my garden composter?
You can compost almost anything that is organic. This includes fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, grass cuttings, dead flowers, leaves, small amounts of shredded paper and soft cardboard and animal hair
What should I not put in my garden composter?
The following should not be put in your composter: cat or dog excrement, meat, dairy products, fish, disposable nappies, shiny cardboard, metal, glass, plastic and invasive weeds such as Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort.
Where is the best place for my garden composter?
A sunny spot in your garden, preferably out of the wind and on well drained soil. When installing your composter loosen the soil to improve drainage and increase access to worms and other insects. To work properly the inside of your composter should be warm and moist. As the composting process begins the temperature inside will increase. Always make sure the lid on your composter is closed so the contents don’t dry out. Turning the material regularly will help air get to the centre of the composter and speed up the composting process. A sunny spot in your garden
How do I know when the compost is ready?
Your compost is ready to use when the material does not resemble anything that you put in there. When it resembles a dark coloured soil it is ready to add to your garden. Most composters have a small hatch at the bottom for you to access the compost.
Do I have to use the green bin if I have a garden composter?
No, composting at home is by far the best way to deal with organic waste. It means the material does not need to be transported anywhere and all the goodness is returned to your own garden.
Where do I buy a garden composter?
Garden composters are widely available from a number of garden centres, hardware and DIY stores and on-line suppliers on the internet. Different sizes are available to suit your own garden.
How can I get more information on how to use a garden composter?
The council can provide you with a free booklet “Composting for all”. Please call 01302 736000 to request your copy. Useful of information can also be found on the internet by typing 'composting for beginners' into any search engine.
What about cooked food waste or things like meat, fish and dairy products. Is there any way that I can compost these items?
Kitchen composters or “Bokashi bins” can be used to compost virtually all food waste, cooked or uncooked, including meat, fish and dairy products. They use natural bran based activators coated in friendly bacteria which start to break down your food waste without producing a smell or attracting flies. After a few weeks in your kitchen composter mixed with “Bokashi bran” the contents can either be added to your garden composter or buried in to your garden soil where the composting process will complete.
Please note: the council do not provide garden compost bins.
Kitchen composters or 'Bokashi bins' are 18 litre counter top composters which can be used to compost virtually 100 per cent of all kitchen waste, including meat, fish, dairy products and cooked food.
Bokashi bins are widely available from suppliers on the internet, or from gardening and DIY stores.
To find out more about how Bokashi bins work download the kitchen composters document below:
- Kitchen composters
- Download (458KB)
Please note: the council do not provide kitchen compost bins.
Free booklet on composting
PLEASE NOTE Due to the current restrictions imposed to combat Covid 19 we are unable to provide the composting booklet at present. Useful information can be found on the internet by putting 'Composting for Beginners' into any search engine.
To receive a free copy of the Composting for all booklet, contact the Waste and Recycling team on:
- Kitchen composters
- Download (458KB - DOC)
Last updated: 22 July 2021 09:38:38