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Home composting

Give your garden a boost with home-made compost. Your kitchen scraps and garden cuttings (items you might have thrown in your bin) you can create a product that can be used on your garden and reduce the amount of compost you need to buy.

Composting, as WRAP explains, is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and use.

Home composting is great for the environment, as it prevents food and garden waste ending up in landfill or being burned for energy generation. Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually. Or all the gases your washing machine produces in three months.

What’s more at the end of the composting process you get free natural fertiliser for your garden. Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden. It will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil’s pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease.

So make your food and garden waste work for you! Find out everything you need to know – from where to get a bin to what a wormery is – by having a browse through the compost section on our website.

If you don’t have a garden you can still compost or recycle your food peelings, leftovers and cut flowers.

What can I compost?

  • Vegetable peelings

  • Ripped up egg boxes

  • Tea bags

  • Coffee grounds

  • Egg shells

  • Flowers

  • Leaves

  • Grass cuttings

  • Hair

  • Hedge trimmings

No thank you

  • Bread

  • Cheese

  • Pasta

  • Cooked food

  • Cat litter

  • Dog poo

What do I do first?

Decide if you want to buy a compost bin or use a compost pile

Choose where you want to put your compost bin

Keep a container in your kitchen to put your peelings in. You can buy a special kitchen caddy for this or use an old ice cream tub. You could put the container on your kitchen side and peel directly in to it.

Where can I get a compost bin?

A compost bin is useful if you want to start making compost. It will stand in your garden waiting for you to feed it with more organic material. You can compost without one but a shop bought bin can help make your compost pile look very tidy as it keeps all the material in one place.

  • Buy one from a garden centre or DIY store

  • Build a compost pile instead of buying a bin

What is a wormery?

A wormery is a closed container with several compartments. You put your food waste in the different sections and the worms living in the container will eat their way through it leaving compost behind them.

Worms like your kitchen waste. As well as eating peelings they will also feed on cake, pasta, rice and cereals. They eat quite fast so there shouldn’t be much smell from the wormery.

You can even have a wormery in your home. But, be aware that the worms can escape and in summer it could attract fruit flies.

Can I compost without a garden?

It is possible to put a wormery indoors, but there is another way to compost in your home. Bokashi is an enclosed system that will compost all your food leftovers including meat, fish and cheese, as well as your peelings. Put all your food into a specially designed container, sprinkle it with the bokashi bran and wait for your food to be transformed.

After the composting takes place you will be left with a nutrient-rich liquid and compost. So if you haven’t got a garden, you’ll need to find a use for the compost. Perhaps give it to a friend or family member, or use it to grow vegetables in your home or in windowsill boxes.

Which weeds can I compost?

Any weeds in theory though avoid the seeds if they have finished flowering and any main root systems. Avoid anything pernicious like knotweed or couch grass.

Can you compost Leylandii leaves and stems?

Yes but they will produce quite an acidic compost so only if you have a need for ericaceous compost in large quantities and don’t mind waiting a few years as they break down quite slowly. Best to put it in the Council green waste collection.