Why is Composting Important?
Around half of our kitchen waste is organic. By this we mean bread crusts, used tea bags, plate scrapings, banana peels, coffee grinds and any other foodstuff that we throw away for whatever reason. If you put all of this compostable material in a regular waste bin, it is quite literally going to waste, specifically landfill. If you compost it, for use either in your own garden or to be collected by your local council, you’ll be reducing the amount of wasted materials and helping public gardens and allotments to thrive.
How do I compost?
It’s super easy. Most local authorities provide a food caddy to go with your garden waste bin. If you don’t have a garden or have no need for compost, simply add all unwanted organic materials to the caddy, emptying regularly and tying a knot in the biodegradable bag to prevent spillage and the accumulation of odours and bacteria. If you can use compost yourself, we recommend investing in a compost bin for the garden. This will allow you to achieve zero organic wastage whilst giving your rose bushes and clematis a rich, natural source of nutrients.
Where should I put my compost bin?
Most compost bins are bottomless, as they can then be placed on soil or grass so that worms can wriggle their way in and do their thing. Worms, insects, bacteria and fungi break the materials down into a soil-like substance, which when ready is your homemade compost. A bottomless bin also lets moisture drain away as required. If the bin has a bottom, it can be placed anywhere you wish, although in all cases we recommend close enough for easy access but not right next to any household doors or windows.
What does the bin require?
Not much really. Air is essential, which should be introduced every few weeks simply by gently agitating the contents. Moisture is also required, but this happens naturally when you add fresh grass and kitchen waste. If it seems to be getting dry, you can sprinkle water into the bin and agitate a little more to encourage even distribution. And of course it needs organic matter, so add meat bones, cooked and raw food, dairy products, diseased plants and even pet faeces whenever you need to, then you’ll find that your compost is the envy of the neighbourhood!
Image courtesy of WRAP UK
Your compost bin needs a combination of wet and dry materials. Food and grass clippings are wet, so add a little shredded newspaper between layers.
Add a thin layer of soil over the top to discourage flies if required.
If it’s the first time you’re using the bin, leave the contents for a year before harvesting. Only use it when there are no signs of what it once was, such as fruit skins and chicken bones.