Home composting is a simple, natural and inexpensive way of recycling your leftover kitchen waste and garden cuttings into valuable food for gardens. It reduces the amount of rubbish put out for collection and returns valuable minerals and nutrients back to the soil.
Where do I get a compost bin?
Uttlesford District Council has teamed up with Essex County Council and Recycle Now to offer you the opportunity to buy compost bins at bargain prices.
Where should I place my compost bin?
A level, well drained area of grass or soil will allow any excess moisture to drain away easily and helpful creatures such as worms to enter and begin to break down the matter. If the area gets a fair bit of sunshine, this can also help to accelerate the composting process. It is also advisable to locate your compost bin away from the house in case the bin should attract unwanted flies or pests.
What should I put in my compost bin?
Things like fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, garden cuttings, egg shells, dead flowers, leaves, cardboard, scrunched up paper and pet bedding are all materials that can go into the compost bin.
Certain things cannot be composted at home such as cooked vegetables, meat, dairy products, diseased plants, cat litter, dog mess and nappies as they attract vermin and interfere with the composting process. Cooked meat and vegetables should be put in the brown lidded kitchen waste bin.
Composting works best when you get the right balance between wet and dry materials. If you find your compost getting too wet and slimy, add more dry materials such as scrunched-up paper. If you find your compost is too dry, add wet materials such as fruit and vegetable peelings.
Air is very important to the composting process. Scrunched-up cardboard can be useful in creating air pockets, and agitating the mixture creates channels through which air can enter.
In approximately 6-9 months your compost will be ready. It should be a dark brown, almost black colour and spongy in texture.
Finished compost is great for using on flowerbeds, mixing in planters and using on vegetable plots.