60% of the average household’s black sack can be recycled and 32% of this amount is made up of garden cuttings and uncooked (compostable) kitchen waste (fruit & vegetable trimmings) i.e. green waste. This is a significant amount of waste that could avoid being sent to landfill each year.
Pembrokeshire County Council recognises that home composting is the most environmentally friendly and economically sustainable way of dealing with garden waste and has actively promoted this practice for a number of years. This is why we supplied every home with a free compost bin.
Home Composting Manual
I’ve got a Compost bin how do I get it to work?
Composting your green waste at home couldn’t be easier, just follow these easy steps:
- Always mix equal amounts of soft “green” wastes (fruit & vegetable peelings, teas bags, coffee grounds, soft young hedge clippings, grass clippings – not too much at once)) and tougher “brown” material (crumpled or shredded cardboard packaging, broken up egg boxes (not the plastic ones), woody prunings (chopped or shredded).
- Add large amounts of material in one go! By adding large amounts of waste you are helping to increase the temperature inside the compost.
- Composting works best at high temperatures, as the rotting process is quicker. The largest composters are therefore more effective and efficient than smaller ones.
- Try and turn your compost bin or heap regularly (at least once per month). This will improve air circulation and quicken up the rotting process.
- Keep the compost damp, but not wet. If the compost is drying out add small quantities of water, grass clippings or leafy material. Don’t over water!
- Keep the lid on your compost bin – this will keep the heat in, and excessive water out– this will speed up the decomposition process.
- Compost can help protect growing crops. If spread around the crops it forms a barrier and kills off most of the disease causing factors – it also aids moisture retention.
- When adding kitchen waste, bury it 6-12 inches below the surface or add a layer of soil or grass clippings on top. This will keep flies away from the compost pile.
- If you leave the compost heap for 6-12 months, this will allow the chompers to do their work and a dark, rich, fibrous compost is then produced.
- If you have the space, you could be more effective at composting by having two compost bins. This way, one could be used for all of the fresh waste to go into – and the other to hold the rotting compost. Human urine is a highly effective compost activator or catalyst and can help speed up the process of decomposition. Companies do not use this as an accelerant, due to public hygiene; however, it is up to you whether or not you use this as an activator on your own compost bin.
If you would like another compost bin to complement your existing one to help you produce top quality compost for your garden, please call the contact centre on 01437 764551 and we will arrange a delivery for you.
Home Composting Booklet (download 442k)