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The Complete Guide to Composting at Home
Effectively managing your food waste can help you play a role in improving the environment, and doing so by composting your leftover food is a great way to start.
Why should you compost your food waste?
The majority of UK councils send food waste directly to landfill, so composting your food will help cut down the amount of waste that you produce. Landfill waste is bad for the environment because it creates greenhouse gas emissions, which can contribute to global warming.
Food and drink waste accounts for 20% of CO2 emissions in the UK, so cutting back will benefit the wider environment and help reduce the levels of harmful pollutions within the UK.
Of course, doing your bit to reduce global warming is the most obvious benefit of home composting, but producing your own nutrient-rich compost for your garden is an added benefit.
Whether you have green fingers, or you’re a gardening beginner, food waste compost can be a great fertiliser for your garden, as it will be full of the essential nutrients that your plants need to survive and grow. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are all found in home composts, which will help keep your soil’s pH balance neutral, the ideal environment for growing plants and vegetables.
Composting is cheaper and more effective than buying soil from a gardening store, so make sure you dust off your gloves and take advantage of your home-grown compost.
How do you compost at home?
If you want to turn your food waste into compost, then investing in a composting bin is the best solution. Available at most DIY stores and supermarkets, you can pick up a good quality composting bin for under £20 in a range of colours and styles to suit your garden. If you are particularly dab-handed when it comes to gardening, then you could even opt to make your own bin using wooden pallets or similar supplies which you’ll find laying around your garage.
Placing your bin in a warm and sunny environment will deliver the best results, and ensuring that there is a layer of cardboard on the base will prevent liquid and food waste from escaping.
What can you compost in your bin?
For the maximum composting efficiency, you should aim for 50/50 mix of green and brown items in your composting bin. Green items will rot quickly and contribute the nitrogen and moisture that is needed to decomposing, while brown items will take longer and offer carbon and fibre.
Green items include things such as fruit, vegetables, and tea bags, while other gardening cuttings such as grass, hedge clippings, hay, flowers, fresh leaves and manure can be used. Brown items, on the other hand, include items such as eggs shells, cardboard, straw, autumn leaves, paper bags, tomato plants, cork, kitchen role, sawdust and feathers.
If you don’t know whether or not you can compost certain items, always use the internet to check before you throw it into your bin. Things such as cat litter and cooked food should not be added to your pile as they can be damaging to the decomposition process.
How long will it take for your compost to be ready?
The process takes between nine and twelve months, but you can continue to add items to the top of your pile during this time. You will know that your compost is ready when your items are no longer recognisable, and when the pile has shrunk significantly in size.
Although composting is good for general household waste, there are times when you’ll have a significant amount of green waste which needs to be disposed of. In such situations hiring a skip maybe a good option. At Able Skips, we can recover all garden waste and hedge cuttings from your property, and send them to a dedicated facility to be mixed with biodegradable materials which turn them into reusable compost.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch today if you’d like to take advantage of our quality services.