Composting at home
Composting is a natural process, where bacteria and fungi breaks down organic waste converting it into a rich and useful soil-like material, which is of great benefit to garden and plants.
1. Why Compost
- Composting diverts the waste from landfill sites and prevents the production of polluting gases and toxic liquids from these sites
- Reduces the need to use chemical fertilisers in your garden
- Saves you money by using home grown compost
- It enriches your plants health and growth
- It benefits the environment
2. What can you compost
- Kitchen waste, egg shells (crushed), fruit and vegetable peelings and skins, coffee grounds, tea bags
- Paper (scrunched up), egg boxes, cereal boxes
- Garden waste, grass cuttings (not wet), hedge trimmings, leaves, weeds, woody stems, plants and old soil
- Paper – towels, napkins, bags and packaging (scrunched up)
3. What you cannot compost
- Cooked food, meat, fish, fats
- Cheese and dairy products
- Cooking oil
- Diseased plant materials
- Cat and Dog faeces
- Newspapers and glossy magazines
4. How to make your own compost
- Place your compost bin or pile on grass or bare earth in a shady location
- Start to fill your compost bin with your compostable material
- Sprinkle with water regularly and ensure to keep the pile moist
- Get some air into the heap at least once every couple of months if possible by mixing the heap with a fork or spade
- Composting can take from 6-18 months, depending on the materials used and time of the year. Decomposition is generally slower in winter
- You can tell when it is ready as the materials will not be recognisable as they turn into dark compost. The finished product will be at the bottom of your heap
The finished compost will benefit your soil, it increases organic matter, attracts and feeds earthworms, helps reduce soil erosion and increases vitamin and mineral content in food crops.
For further information on home composting, or for schools to apply for a free compost bin, click here
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