Composting

As much as 25% of domestic waste could be composted. By choosing to compost this waste, the amount of waste going to landfill will be reduced. This saves on space and reduces the emissions of poisonous liquids or gases that arise from landfill sites.

Compost is also a good substitute to peat. By using compost you are helping to preserve areas of land where peat is currently extracted.

By choosing to compost at home you also avoid the packaging and journeys involved in purchasing compost from outside sources.

How compost helps the garden

Compost adds valuable nutrients to the soil. It can be used as a mulch for the garden and helps to improve the structure of the soil. It is a good alternative to peat.

Making compost

Tiny microbes break down the waste to produce a soil like substance that is compost. They work most effectively when the compost heap is hot, slightly damp and aerated.

The compost may be ready from as early as 3-6 months. The hotter the compost gets, the sooner it will be ready.

For the compost bin

  • raw fruit and vegetable scraps
  • egg shells
  • tea bags
  • small amounts of newspaper or corrugated card
  • old plants and flowers
  • soft prunings (e.g. privet)
  • hay and straw
  • grass clippings
  • shreddings and woody prunings

Unsuitable for composting

  • cooked foods
  • meat and fish
  • cat and dog faeces
  • non biodegradable materials
Composting problems

if the compost is too dry try adding more wet materials such as grass cuttings and vegetable scraps, or add a small amount of water.

If it is too wet try adding more dry materials such as straw or paper. Make sure the lid is on the bin to prevent too much water entering the heap. Turn the compost heap to allow more air to circulate.

If it is too cold or inactive try putting the compost heap in a sunny location. Compost heaps work quicker in the summer when it is warmer. Adding a lot of material in one go helps to keep the heap warmer than if materials are added a bit at a time. Grass mowings, nettle tops, pigeon and chicken manure will also speed up the compost process.

Where to get a Compost bin

A home composting bin for a small fee, including free delivery, is available from North Somerset Council.

For more information on composting visit: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/composting

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