PLASTIC FREE HOME: What can you put in your garden compost bin?

By David Lamont

David Lamont

It’s a question that gets asked regularly: “Can I put this in the compost bin?”

Composting, of course, provides free fertiliser for the garden.

Importantly, it also helps to reduce household waste levels and the cost and environmental impact associated with waste disposal. Effective composting can help to minimise the amount of waste you dispose of through the food waste scheme and in blue bag collections.

So what exactly can you put in your compost bin at home..?

  • Baby wipes (if they are a home compostable brand like Jackson Reece)
  • Bamboo-based bathroom products (such as toothbrushes, cotton buds)
  • Cardboard (torn into smaller pieces)
  • Crisps and crackers
  • Crisp packet (only if from the Two Farmers brand)
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Eggshells and egg boxes
  • Grass cuttings
  • Fruit and vegetable peel
  • Leaves
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Paper (ideally shredded)
  • Pasta (cooked)
  • Pizza crusts
  • Plant prunings and stems
  • Rice (cooked)
  • Tea bags (plastic free brands only)
  • Twigs
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Weeds (a good compost will kill the seeds!)
  • Wine corks

Aim for between 25-50% green materials, such as grass clippings, weeds and vegetable kitchen waste. If you can, place your compost bin in a shadier part of the garden where it is not too damp or too cold and ensure that worms and other insects can easily get into it – put it on a soil bed and don’t bother attaching a base if it came with one.

In dry months, add some water using a bucket/watering can or hose and if you fancy it, you can always buy and add your own worms. They’ll love it in there!

Mix things in and turn the contents from time-to-time (say monthly). And don’t let things get too wet or you won’t end up with great results.

Aim for a compost bin that is at least one cubic metre in size as these are more effective than smaller options.

If you don’t already have a compost bin, Wokingham Borough residents can purchase a discounted one via www.getcomposting.com. Remember, you don’t need a large garden to have a compost bin.

For more tips and advice, join the online group at www.facebook.com/plasticfreehomeuk

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David Lamont
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