How to Compost
Compost is produced as a result of organisms such as, bacteria, fungi, worms and insects eating and breaking down organic material. This produces a rich material (compost) that will improve the structure of the soil, increase its moisture content and also put nutrients back into the soil. This encourages better plant growth.
There are environmental benefits to Composting:
- It reduces the amount of waste in the household waste bin.
- Organic waste such as grass, twigs and food produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas, when it breaks down in the absence of oxygen in landfill. This doesn't happen in a compost bin where material can biodegrade naturally.
- Increases plant growth, health and improves soil structure
What can be composted?
Materials and items that can be placed into your compost bin are split into 'greens' and 'browns.' The guide to good composting is getting the right mix of the 'greens' and 'browns.'
What are 'greens'?
Grass cuttings, tea bags, vegetable peelings (including lettuce and cabbage leaves), old flowers, fruit scraps (including citrus peel), nettles, coffee grounds and filter paper, spent bedding plants, comfrey leaves, rhubarb leaves, young annual weeds (eg chickweed and speedwell), pond algae and seaweed (in moderation).
What are 'browns'?
Egg shells (crush them first), egg boxes, cereal boxes, corrugated cardboard packaging (scrunched up small amounts), newspaper (scrunched up), toilet and kitchen roll tubes, garden prunings, leaves, twigs and hedge clippings, straw and hay, bedding from vegetarian pets, wool, feathers, ashes from wood, paper or lumpwood charcoal, woody clippings, cotton threads, string (made from natural fibres), tumble dryer lint (from natural fibre clothes), vacuum bag contents (if natural carpets), tissues, paper towels, napkins, shredded confidential documents, corn cobs and stalks, pine needles and cones (slow to compost so not too much!).
Things to avoid!
Certain things should never be placed into your compost bin! No cooked vegetables, no meat, no dairy products, no diseased plants, no cat or dog faeces, no nappies, no perennial weeds (such as dandelions or thistle) or weeds with seed heads.
If you would like further information or assistance with composting or you feel you have knowledge you would like to spread, you may benefit from our Master Composters Scheme.
Last updated: 14/08/2013
Pages in Home Composting
- 1. You are here: How to Compost
- 2. Home Compost Bin Offer