How to make compost

At least 30% of your household bin could be composted.  Garden waste is not the only thing that you can put into your compost bin.  There are actually many more everyday waste items from your home and garden that you can add to make your compost:



  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • tea bags, coffee grounds and filter paper
  • grass cuttings
  • old flowers
  • nettles
  • egg shells and boxes
  • newspaper and cardboard (scrunched up)
  • garden prunings and leaves 
  • bedding from vegetarian pets
  • shredded confidential documents

Compost is produced by alternating layers of some of the natural products listed above. A mix of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ is important.  The green items contain bacteria that generate the initial heat required by the process.  Mixing in some brown items prevent the contents from becoming a sludgy, smelly mess and will produce the air pockets required by this living ecosystem.

Every few months lift the bin up (the contents should stand like a tower), re-position the bin and fork the contents back in – mixing in water if dry or dry material if soggy.  This is the best way to speed up the rotting process.  The finished compost is when the lower layers are a dark and crumbly material without smell, which is then ready to use on your garden.

The materials break down naturally and reduce massively in volume (you may notice that the level will keep sinking). 

As it’s full of nutrients compost can be used as a natural fertiliser to feed plants, improve soil texture and help your garden retain moisture in dry weather conditions.

To buy an ‘aerator’ (a small tool to make mixing easier) visit Recycle Now: Composting.  Bottles of special accelerator fluid are also available to buy, which can speed up the rotting process even further.

More information on composting can be found by visiting Garden Organic or RecycleNow