also known as: Composting, Fruit and vegetable waste, Garden compost bins.
Information on buying home compost bins and tips and advice on home composting
Why start home
- It’s easy!
- You could prevent up to 40% of your household bin going to
- Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and
flowers will love it!
- Compost also suppresses plant disease
- It’s good for the environment
Get started - order your home composting bin
To get started, the first thing you will
need to do is buy a home composting bin. We are working with
getcomposting.com to offer residents a range of home compost bins,
wormeries and accessories at special offer prices. These can
be ordered online below and compost bins start from £16.
Order composting equipment here
There are two ways to receive your bin:
1. Have it delivered to your home (There is a
delivery charge of £5.49 per order and you should allow up to 28
days for delivery.)
2. Collect it from a Household Waste Recovery Centre
(HWRC) free of charge. To do this, you will need to purchase a
pre-paid voucher online. Once you have your voucher you can
exchange it at one of our HWRCs. Please note that you must
pre-order the bin online to receive the voucher. It is not
possible to purchase a bin at the recovery centre itself. (Please
note that due to current high demand, it may take longer for sites
to supply residents with home compost bins in exchange for
- Find the right site - Ideally place your compost bin in a reasonably sunny area on bare soil. If you have to put your compost bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs ensure there's a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom so the worms and other creatures can colonise. Choose a place where you can easily add ingredients to the bin and get the compost out.
- Add the right ingredients - Have a container available such as a kitchen caddy or old ice cream tub so that you can collect items for your compost bin from all over the house. Fill your kitchen caddy or container with everything from vegetable and fruit peelings to teabags, toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes and eggshells. Take care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish.
- Fill it up - Empty your kitchen caddy along with your garden waste into your compost bin. A 50/50 mix of greens and browns (see below) is the perfect recipe for good compost.
- Wait a while - It takes between nine and twelve months for your compost to become ready for use, so now all you need to do is wait and let nature do the work. Keep on adding greens and browns to top up your compost.
- Ready for use - Once your compost has turned into a crumbly, dark material, resembling thick, moist soil and gives off an earthy, fresh aroma, you know it's ready to use.
- Removing the compost - Lift the bin slightly or open the hatch at the bottom and scoop out the fresh compost with a garden fork, spade or trowel.
- Use it - Don't worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshells - this is perfectly normal. Use it to enrich borders and vegetable patches, plant up patio containers or feed the lawn. Any bits that are still too lumpy to use can be put back in the bin.
Like any recipe, your compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work. Good things you can compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. These are considered "greens." Greens are quick to rot and they provide important nitrogen and moisture. Other things you can compost include cardboard egg boxes, scrunched up paper and small twigs. These are considered "browns" and are slower to rot. They provide fibre and carbon and also allow important air pockets to form in the mixture. Crushed eggshells can be included to add useful minerals:
- Tea bags
- Grass cuttings
- Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps
- Old flowers and nettles
- Coffee grounds and filter paper
- Spent bedding plants
- Rhubarb leaves
- Young annual weeds (e.g. chickweed)
- Crushed egg shells
- Egg and cereal boxes
- Corrugated cardboard and paper (scrunched up)
- Toilet and kitchen roll tubes , tissues, paper towels and napkins
- Garden prunings
- Twigs and hedge clippings
- Straw and hay
- Bedding from vegetarian pets
- Ashes from wood, paper and lumpwood charcoal
- Sawdust and wood chippings
- Wool, Cotton threads and string (made from natural fibre)
- Woody clippings
- Vacuum bag contents
- Old natural fibre clothes (cut into small pieces)
- Shredded confidential documents
- Corn cobs and stalks
Keep these out - these things should never be placed in your bin.
- Cooked vegetables, meat and dairy products (unless they have first been treated with a specialist kitchen composter)
- Diseased plants
- Dog poo or cat litter, or baby's nappies.
Putting these in your bin can encourage unwanted pests and can also create odour. Also avoid composting perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistles) or weeds with seed heads. Remember that plastics, glass and metals are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately.
It takes between nine and twelve months for your compost to become ready for use. Before starting you will want to find out if it actually is ready. You can do this by making sure your compost is dark brown and smells nice and earthy. It should also be slightly moist and have a crumbly texture.
It probably won't look exactly like the compost you buy at the shops and it's very likely that yours will still have twigs and eggshells in it! Don't worry… it's still perfectly good to use! Simply sift out any larger bits and return them to your compost bin.
Your fresh compost is nutrient-rich food for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil's PH balance in check while helping suppress plant disease. It has everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and it will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and flowers will love it!
- Household Waste Recovery Centres - Compost can be bought from our centres for around £3.00 per bag. If there is no compost available to buy at the time of your visit, bags can be ordered with expected delivery to the site within 2-3 days. The compost is made from garden waste collected at the 12 Northumberland HWRC's and collected at the kerbside in the garden waste collection scheme.
- Alternatively you can buy compost from Com-vert. Please click here to go to the Comvert website
- Residents living in the Hexham area can buy compost in bulk from James Enderby on 01434 602786.
Provides excellent advice on setting
your compost bin, making compost
and using compost.