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Compost Making and Organic Gardens

Compost your weeds and kitchen waste and have a beautiful organic garden. (By Brenda Shaw)

Recycle your plant-based, kitchen and garden waste by making it into compost. Dig it in to have a healthy, fertile garden and your fruit and vegetables can be organic. Don't assume the waste is harmless and bin it. Putting it in landfill costs money and it will produce methane (a global warming gas), also it may pollute the groundwater. This waste comprises about 20-30% of your total and the impact is significant.
Why not make or buy a compost bin? They're usually cheap to buy, and are available in wood or recycled plastic (that might otherwise be in you local landfill site). If you're keen you could combine it with a wormery or use a shredder which increases the amount of compostable waste. Do not compost foods such as dairy produce, meat, bread etc as these attract flies and vermin.

Tigridia in Surrey Fruit Stall in Boscombe
Tigridia in Surrey Fruit Stall in Boscombe
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Composting, Wormeries and Shredders Index
Click on star to go down to item Domestic Compost Advice Click on star to go down to item Domestic Bins and Items
Click on star to go down to item Community Composting
Click on star to go down to item Wormeries
Click on star to go down to item Shredders

You may be interested in our two associated Reference pages:
Some Tips on Making Compost and Tips on Wormeries, Worm Composting and Vermiculture

Pink Poppies (Click to enlarge)   If you'd like to have a go at recycling your organic kitchen and garden waste by making it into compost to feed your plants or to use as a mulch, see our Reference page for Some Tips on Making Compost, with suggestions and hints including what's good and bad to compost.
Below we list some other sources of advice on composting including organisations and web sites, guides and fact sheets. Many local Council web sites also provide advice on home composting.
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Advice for Domestic Composting
  Garden Organic is the working name of HDRA, Henry Doubleday Research Association, the national charity for organic growing, Europe's largest organic gardening organisation, produces advice leaflets, researches organic horticultural techniques and runs four organic gardens.
    The CAT Tipsheet on Composting says you can create better compost and reduce the amount of rubbish you throw away by composting paper and cardboard. CAT now make a small charge for their Tipsheets.
    Compost Guide gives a comprehensive guide to composting, including why you should make compost, the decomposition process, compost materials, siting, troubleshooting, bins & tumblers, worm composting etc.
    Gardenseeker.com have a section on 'How to Make a Compost Heap Work - Advice and Information'. They give lots of Gardening Advice and Information across a wide range of areas.
    BILLYOH provide a useful Composting Guide for Beginners giving helpful tips to making 'great compost'.
    RecycleNow have a whole section on Home Composting, giving a step by step guide including buying and setting up your bin, making and using your compost and general advice.
    The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) provide a wealth of gardening advice on their site, including a section on Home Composting, and another on Sustainable Gardening.
    Shropshire Wildlife Trust's site provides information and advice on home composting, as well as on wildlife gardening, bracken compost creation, collection of local wildflower seeds and much more.
Painted Lady Butterfly   The WasteBook is a joint project commissioned by the Thames Region of the Environment Agency; written, researched and designed by Luton Friends of the Earth; sponsored by Friends of the Earth, BRE, and the Government Offices for the Eastern and Southern Regions and London.
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Bins and Items for Domestic Composting
A wide range of compost bins, accessories and accelerators are readily obtained from garden centres or manufacturers, including these below:
    Archwood Greenhouses, Herefordshire, supply a wide range of quality wooden compost bins and associated accessories throughout the UK.
    The Bin Company provides environmentally beneficial and convenient products for disposal of rubbish both at home and in the office, including composters and wormeries, kitchen and office bins, biodegradable bags.
    evengreener.com, sell compost tumblers (can produce compost from kitchen/garden waste in about 3 wks), compost and kitchen bins, aerators and other compost & garden products. Unfortunately our personal experience is that their delivery times can be ridiculously long.
    Great Green Systems produce Green Cone and Green Johanna to provide a total solution to recycling of household organic food waste, using solar heating effect to promote air circulation and enhance naturally occurring aerobic digestion process.
    Harrod Horticultural have a section on composting and they sell ranges of compost tumblers, compost bins, wormeries, kitchen composters and caddies and accessories.
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    Original Organics sell Compost Bins made from 100% recycled UV treated polyethylene for composting mixed kitchen and garden waste, Bokashi Buckets (for composting food waste, plus a range of wormeries.
    At RecycleNow you can find out what low-cost / subsidised compost bins and containers etc are available in your area.
    The Recycle Works is dedicated to the supply, design and development of domestic composing equipment, including Wormeries, Composters, Books, Shredders. Their stated main item is their Wooden Modular Compost Bin.
Two Frogs in our Pond
Straight claims to be the UK's leading supplier of home composters; they sell The Compost Machine and you can buy other products on-line.
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Advice for Community Composters
  Community Composting Network is an organisation providing support, advice and information, including health and safety, throughout the UK to community composters and those considering setting up a scheme.
    Association for Organics Recycling (formerly The Composting Association), the UKs national composting organisation, is non-profit making, committed to the sustainable management of biodegradable resources, researches and promotes best practice in composting and uses of composts.
    The Green Waste and Composting section of the WasteBook gives advice, plus details on new standards for compost and a list of many organisations providing composting facilities with summary details.
    Living Soil, an organic food waste recycling initiative, provides education, supplies, resources to communities, councils, individuals regarding ecological benefits of separating organic/inorganic waste and of home composting.
    Ridan have produced an all new on-site composter which can process up to 600 lts of food waste per week. They are promoting it to schools, pubs, communities and restaurants hoping to significantly reduce the transportation of food waste to landfill.
    Soil Environment Services, a specialist soil consultancy, states that recycling compostable waste to land is becoming an increasingly viable option commercially for agricultural land and restoration projects; see their Recycling to Land and Composting section.
    Tidy Planet state they have one simple aim-to help their customers find the best way to dispose of their food and catering waste without sending it to landfill, with a number of on site food waste solutions.
    Tree Fella provide a green waste recycling facility for local councils from kerbside collection and civic amenity sites as well as trade waste from landscapers and tree surgeons.
    Valuing Community Composting is a web site to provide a 'Toolkit for Unlocking the Potential of Community Composting'. This is a set of techniques for helping to assess the real value to the community of Community Composting projects.
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Page originated: 21 July, 2001  Last updated: 2 November, 2016
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