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Dear Recycling Bins.. How do I compost at home?

Composting at home

Dear Recycling Bins... We are trying to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away, but our local council doesn’t recycle food waste. We throw a lot of food away, despite our best efforts. A friend mentioned that they compost their food waste at home. Is composting at home possible when you live in a small property that doesn’t have much of a garden?

Thank you for your question. Your friend is right, composting is one of the most effective ways to reduce waste. The good news is, composting at home is still possible even if you don’t have much of a garden.

The benefits of composting at home

  • If you compost your food waste, you can recycle vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, fruit peels, newspaper, and more. This means they don’t end up in a landfill site.

According to WRAP, UK households throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year. This food ends up on landfills sites where it decomposes and emits greenhouse gases like methane.

  • Composting your food waste will also help you reduce the amount of waste you throw away. It will also help keep your kitchen bins smelling fresher for longer. The mixing of organic and non-organic waste slows down decomposition and causes nasty odours.
  • It will also help nourish your soil whether you have a garden or just a few planters or window boxes.

Composting at home: Getting started

If you have a garden, choose a corner where you can collect ingredients like leaves, kitchen scraps, and other organic waste. Keep adding to your pile and it will decompose over time. If you don’t like the idea of having a random pile of waste in your garden, invest in a bin to store it in. The key thing with compost is to keep it moist and keep turning it over.

When the waste has broken down, spread it on your flower beds and lawn. You can also use it to top up potted plants to give them some extra nutrients.

What to do if you have too much!

If you don’t have much outdoor space, invest in a food waste caddy for your kitchen. It can sit on your worktop and most models have a filter to prevent odours. When the caddy is full, you can try taking the waste to:

  • A local compost site: Some garden centres have them and you’ll usually find that your organic waste is welcome.
  • Your local farmers market: Farmers will often be happy to take compost off your hands.
  • A community garden or allotment: Your composting at home efforts will always be appreciated if you take your waste along to add to their compost pile. You can always lend a hand with the community garden too. If you don’t have a garden of your own, it can be a nice way to do some good, get some fresh air and exercise, and meet people.

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration on how you can reduce waste and start composting at home.

If you’d like more tips and interesting articles, check out the rest of our blog.

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