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How to make your own compost
Have you tried composting? It’s free, easy to make and great for the environment.
Where to put your compost bin
Put it in a reasonably sunny place, on bare soil. If you only have concrete, tarmac or patio slabs, put a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost at the bottom. Choose a place where you can easily add ingredients to the bin, and get the compost out.
What to put in it
Instead of nipping outside to the bin all the time, have a container in your kitchen. Fill it with things you can compost then add it to your compost bin outside, along with grass cuttings and other waste from your garden.
A mix of half ‘browns’ and half ‘greens’ is the perfect recipe.
- Crushed egg shells
- Egg and cereal boxes
- Corrugated cardboard and paper (scrunched up)
- Toilet and kitchen roll tubes
- Garden prunings
- Twigs and hedge clippings
- Straw and hay
- Tissues, paper towels and napkins
- Vacuum cleaner bag contents
- Tea bags
- Grass cuttings
- Vegetable peelings, salad leaves, and fruit scraps
- Old flowers and nettles
- Finished bedding plants
What to do next
All you need to do is wait and let nature do the work! Keep on adding greens and browns to top up the compost.
If you like, you can throw in some soil or finished compost – not too much though, only about half a shovel now and then. This will add some extra nutrients. You could also turn your compost sometimes to give it some air.
Things you can’t compost
- Cooked vegetables
- Raw or cooked meat and fish
- Dairy products
- Dog poo, cat litter or babies’ nappies
How long it takes
It should take between nine and 12 months to make some compost.
It’s ready to use when it turns into a crumbly dark material and smells earthy and fresh. It’s normal if it looks a bit lumpy, with twigs and bits of eggshells.
What to do with your compost
Use it on your garden! Spread it on your soil, borders, flowerbeds and more.
Other ways to get rid of your garden waste
If you don’t fancy composting, you could subscribe to our green bin collection service or bring your garden waste to a community recycling centre.