When you remove flowers from your garden, mow the grass, or prune a bush, valuable organic matter is lost. Composting replaces it, at no cost.
Improve your garden, reduce waste sent to landfill sites
Compost can be used as a substitute for manures and fertilisers, improving the structure and health of the soil, making it more fertile.
Composting also reduces the amount of rubbish taken to landfill sites and reduces the cost to householders of dealing with waste disposal.
Organic waste is biodegradable - when it is buried in landfill sites it rots and produces methane gas, which can escape into buildings near landfill sites and lead to explosions.
Where is the best place to put a compost bin?
It is essential that you keep your compost bin warm and moist. It's best if you place the bin in the sun and out of the wind, on well drained soil.
To improve drainage and increase access for worms and bacteria, loosen the soil below the bin.
Place a few inches of kitchen waste on the soil at the bottom of the bin. This will attract worms and bacteria to the bin and increase the rate of compost formation.
For best results, organic waste should be put in the bin in layers of different material between 6-12 cm deep.
Ensure you always put the lid on your compost bin and do not let the compost dry out.
What you can put in your composter
You can compost almost anything that is organic (anything that has been grown). This includes:
fruit and vegetable scraps
tea bags, coffee grounds
crushed egg shells
grass cuttings, prunings and leaves
small amounts of shredded paper and soft cardboard
vacuum dust (only if you have woollen carpets).
The following can not be put into your composter
cat or dog excrement
For best results, ensure your compost bin contains some grass cuttings or vegetarian animal manure. They heat up and speed up the composting process. However they should be mixed with other organic waste to avoid slime formation.
To ensure that air is getting to the centre of the bin, turn the material regularly. This will also speed up the decomposition process.
How do you know when the compost is ready?
Your compost is ready for use when the material does not resemble anything that you put in the bin.
Collect the compost from the small hatch at the bottom of the bin. The compost can then be spread on the garden where it will act as a fertiliser.