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Recycling and Waste

Telephone: 0345 603 7625


10 March 2016

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Composting is the oldest and most natural means of waste disposal. It is not only a great way to reduce your household waste; it also acts as a great soil nutrient, which can help to encourage plant life and wildlife in your garden.
The following explains:
You can buy compost bins and other products from our online composting shop and soil improver is available from our recycling centres

How composting works

Compost is formed as a result of the natural breakdown of organic matter, such as food or plants. This breakdown occurs when the organic matter is exposed to elements such as oxygen, bacteria, fungi and insects. These help to decompose the organic matter into natural topsoil, which you can then use to fertilise your garden.

How you can compost

If you want to create compost at home, you will need a compost bin. You can either make one yourself from wooden boxes or pallets or you can ‘buy one and get another at half price’ from our Composting shop.  

What you can compost

It is estimated that around 30% of all household waste is suitable for composting. This includes garden waste and uncooked kitchen food waste such as: 
  • Grass cuttings
  • Dead flowers and end of year annuals
  • Weeds (but not persistent ones)
  • Twigs, cuttings and prunings (hedge, shrub, tree and hardwood plants)
  • Hay, fungi and leaves
  • Sawdust/wood ash
  • Vegetarian pet droppings
  • Small amounts of shredded paper
  • Raw fruit (apple cores and all fruit peel)
  • Vegetable scraps (raw potato and vegetable peelings, outer cabbage leaves, lettuce leaves and other salad)
  • Tea leaves and torn tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Crushed egg shells
As a rule of thumb, anything which was once living can be composted. However, you should avoid putting cooked food, meat and dairy products in the compost bin as these types of foods need different treatment to decompose and may attract vermin.
For cooked food, meat and dairy products, use enclosed composting systems such as wormeries, kitchen composters/bokashi systems and waste minimisers such as the Green Cone.

How composting can help the environment

By composting waste, instead of disposing of it in your dustbin, you can help to substantially reduce the amount of waste which is sent to landfill. This will help to save the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases which are released into the atmosphere.