Consumer Advice

Reduce waste with a compost bin

Reduce waste with a compost bin


Composting is a great way to transform organic materials from your kitchen into nutrient dense compost for your garden, simply and inexpensively. Why buy expensive commercial composts when you could be making your own?


If you compost your waste at home for a single year, you can save as much CO2 as your washing machine will produce in three months. What’s more, you’ll be reducing methane emissions from landfill.


When your kitchen waste goes to landfill, the air can’t get to it. So as the waste decomposes, it emits harmful methane gases which damage the atmosphere. However, if you compost the same waste at home and above the ground, oxygen reacts with the decomposition process and dramatically reduces the amount of methane produced. Even better, you’ll have fantastic natural fertiliser for your garden around 9-12 months later!


To begin composting, speak to your council and find out if they have any free composter schemes. Most do, and you will be given a large black bin for your back garden. If you find it unsightly, remember that you can box it in, grow plants up and alongside it, or buy a style that better suits your available space. You will also be given a green caddy from your council, which you can use to pop your compostable food items into, and then transport from the kitchen to the composter without a mess.


The sorts of things you can compost include fruits, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds and tea bags. Don’t try to compost meat or cooked food, which can attract unwanted garden guests such as rats. You’ll be given a full information booklet when you sign up to your local compost scheme, and there are plenty of great online resources too, such as http://www.recyclenow.com


Good tips for boosting your compost include adding balls of newspaper to keep the bin contents aerated and to speed up biological breakdown, and avoid the compost from getting too wet. Pet bedding from small animals such as hamsters can also be used to make compost!