In honour of Compost Week, we explain how composting is a great way to recycle garden and food waste while creating fertile soil for a healthy garden.
Composting is the process of creating compost from decomposing organic materials. Compost is rich in vital nutrients and organisms that are beneficial to your soil. By recycling various organic materials that would ordinarily be regarded as waste products, composting is an eco-friendly way to make good use of food and garden waste while helping to create wonderfully fertile garden soil.
Compostable waste is split into two categories: ‘brown’ waste which is rich in carbon and slow to rot, and ‘green' waste which is rich in nitrogen and quick to rot. To identify which category your items belong to, think about whether they go off quickly. Bananas rot quite quickly, so banana skins would fall under green waste. Other examples of green waste include leaves and grass. Brown waste refers to woody materials such as stalks, paper and wood chips.
Composting helps to reduce landfill waste, as garden and food scraps make up a large percentage of what we throw away. It helps to create healthy soil that is full of nutrients, to keep your garden looking lush.
A compost heap is an easy way to get composting if you have the space. Best situated on soil that sits in a sunny or partially shaded area, a compost heap will encourage worms which will speed up the process. Compost bins work well in smaller gardens and have the benefit of being portable as well. Bins can come in a variety of materials, so it’s worth doing some research to find the best option for your garden.
Some local councils offer discounts on compost bins, in an effort to encourage people to recycle rather than sending their waste to landfill.
Most household waste that breaks down naturally is suitable for composting. Stale bread, coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, tea bags, fruit and vegetable peels and vacuum cleaner dust are all great additions to your compost bin or heap.
As well as starting a compost heap to make use of your garden and food waste, it’s good to be mindful of how you’re disposing of the rest of your waste items. Our recycling centres can help you safely dispose of a wide range of household and commercial waste. This includes, but is not limited to, WEEE (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment), metal, hazardous waste (including batteries, paints and pesticides), plastic and glass.
Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.