If you don't want to pay for garden waste collections, you can try composting garden and kitchen waste. Our FAQs will help you get started.

Composting offers an excellent alternative for your garden and kitchen waste. This fun activity can involve all the family. It also has the added benefit of producing fertiliser, which is great for your garden and plants.

You can find more information at www.recyclenow.com.

Composting FAQs

What is compost?

Compost is organic matter, made from garden waste or uncooked vegetable and fruit peelings, which decompose to form a dark brown, soil-like material, rich in plant nutrients. You can put compost on your garden to replace the nutrients that are lost from soil over time.

During composting, microscopic organisms use the organic waste to feed on and multiply. As this happens the organic materials are broken down into carbon dioxide, water and a residue. This residue and the remaining micro-organisms form the material that is called compost. When added to the soil, compost improves the structure and enhances the biological activity that is vital for healthy plant growth.

Cooked food waste can also be composted using different techniques such as hot composters, digesters or wormeries. Using a kitchen worktop composter, you can compost all uncooked and cooked food waste to produce liquid fertiliser for the garden or house plants.

Why compost at home?
  • Much of your garden and food waste can be composted at home freeing up space in your rubbish bins.
  • Composting provides free nourishment for your garden or potted plants and will boost vegetables grown at home.
  • Composting can involve all the family and you can use a range of low cost composting equipment and techniques to recycle garden and food waste.
  • It's good for the environment.
What materials can I compost?

The key to getting great compost is to ensure that you get the right mix! You want to try and get a 50/50 mix of 'Green' wastes such as fruit and vegetable peelings and garden clippings and 'Brown' wastes such as newspaper, shredded paper or cardboard. Getting this mix right will help you get the right amount of air into your compost and help it break down quicker.

As well as your garden waste (such as shrub and tree clippings and grass cuttings), fruit and vegetable peelings, you can also add the following:

  • Paper and confidential documents can be put in the compost bin - all you need to do is scrunch or shred it first.
  • Dust from our vacuum cleaners can be composted, so when cleaning is complete, empty the dust into the compost bin.
  • Cardboard innards from toilet and kitchen roll can be added to the compost bin - rip them up to help them decompose.
  • Small pet bedding (such as hamsters, mice and gerbils), so long as the pet is vegetarian.
  • Tea bags/coffee grounds

Cooked food waste and raw meat and fish or bones cannot be added to a composter. However, there are alternatives:

  • Worms can eat up to half their body weight every day and quickly produce high-quality compost. A wormery needs only a small amount of space and you can make your own wormery at home. You can "feed" the worms fruit and vegetable peelings and small amounts of paper and cardboard to produce small amounts of soil improver and liquid fertiliser. Special worms can be used that you can "feed" cooked food waste and meat, fish and bones.
  • If have enough space in your garden, you can use a food waste digester.
  • Hot composters offer a way of composting garden waste, cooked and uncooked food waste (including bones)
  • If you live in a flat or do not have a garden but would like to do something with your kitchen waste, then you could consider a worktop kitchen composter that produces liquid fertiliser.
What do I do with my compost?

There are many uses for your compost. It can be used as:

  • an organic fertiliser
  • a mulch
  • a soil substitute
  • a top dressing