Composting your kitchen and garden waste is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you dispose of in your rubbish bin. By composting your waste you can generate a free source of rich compost to help improve your garden, and also help to reduce global warming in the process.
The Compost Bin
The first step to start composting at home is to get a compost bin. You can either purchase a compost bin or you can make your own. Compost bins can be bought from the majority of garden centres.
The next important step is to decide where to position the compost bin, which can affect the overall quality of the compost that is produced. For best results place the bin in a well drained area which has good access to sunlight. The drainage will enable excess water to drain out of the compost and placing the bin in a sunny spot helps to speed up the composting process.
What waste items can be put in my compost bin
There are lots of everyday waste items from your garden and kitchen that can go into your compost bin. These are broken down into Greens and Browns. Greens are the type of items that provide moisture and nitrogen and are quick to rot. Browns are waste items that take longer to rot but provide pockets of air, along with fibre and carbon.
Items classed as Greens include: Grass cuttings Vegetable peelings Leaves Fruit Tea bags Weeds
Items classed as Browns include: Cardboard boxes Newspapers (scrunched up) Toilet roll tubes Egg shells (crushed) Shredded paper Twigs and hedge clippings
What makes a good quality compost
To make a good quality compost it is important to use a good mix of both 'green' and 'brown' wastes. It is simply a case of monitoring the compost and adding more waste depending on the look of the compost. For example, if it looks too dry add more green waste, and if it looks too wet add more brown waste. Every so often it is also a good idea to mix or turn the contents of your compost bin to add air.
This will vary depending on the mixture of waste that is placed into the compost bin, the surrounding conditions and the weather. In general it should take between 6 and 9 months for your finished compost to be ready to use.