Image showing foods that can be composted

Save money on your waste bills with home-composting and also improve your garden - win, win.

What is composting?

Composting is a natural way to recycle organic material such as kitchen scraps or garden waste. Microorganisms, including bacteria or fungi, feed on the waste and break it down into a dark crumbly mass called compost. Compost is rich in plant nutrients and you can dig it into soil to improve your garden.

You can have a compost heap in your garden or you can make or buy a compost container. You can buy containers from garden centres or hardware shops.

Composting at home

  1. Prepare your equipment:

    -Choose a container that is the right size for your household. If you choose a bin with a base, it should have holes in it to allow worms to go in and moisture to drain out.

    -You will also need a garden shovel or fork for turning and removing the compost.

  2. Decide where to put it:

    -Set the bin on grass or earth so worms can get in from below.

    -Raise it 1cm to 2cm off the ground by putting a few flat stones under the base. This will stop the holes becoming blocked.

    -Place it not too far from the kitchen door – near enough to be convenient but far enough away to avoid smells.

    -Choose a sunny spot as warmth will speed up the composting process.

    -Protect the bin from heavy rain. If the compost becomes waterlogged, it will stop decomposing.

  3. You can add activators to your bin if you want to speed up the composting process, but they are not strictly necessary.
  4. Start your compost bin in the spring, summer or autumn, as composting slows or stops in winter.