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Home composting

Home composting is the most environmentally friendly method of dealing with organic waste. Most food and garden waste can be recycled back into the soil, via composting.

Composted organic material can be used to provide plant food and improve the quality of the soil.

The tidiest and quickest way of composting is to use a compost bin. Home compost bins are available from most DIY/garden stores.

What is composting?

Composting is a natural process that converts organic waste into a valuable material for the garden.

  1. Bacteria and fungi (the 'heaters'), use the softer wastes as a source of food. A well-made heap should generate heat and reach 60°C - about the temperature of a hot cup of tea. 
  2. The heap will cool down after 4-6 weeks and at this point worms, centipedes, beetles etc (the 'chompers') start consuming the tougher material.  A dark, rich, fibrous compost is then produced.

Why should we compost?

The benefits of composting at home include:

  • A reduction of waste going to landfill sites.
  • Financial savings.
  • Most pre-packed compost contains peat, which when removed from peat bogs damages important wildlife sites.
  • Improves the texture and the nutritional quality of the soil.

What should we compost?

Items that can be composted

Items that can't be composted

Kitchen waste

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells (crushed)
  • Fruit scraps
  • Tea bags/leaves
  • Vegetable peelings

Kitchen waste

Garden waste

  • Grass cuttings
  • Hedge clippings
  • Pruning's (non woody)
  • Old plants
  • Flowers
  • Autumn leaves (small quantities)

Garden waste

  • Diseased plants (eg club root)
  • Thick hedge trimmings
  • Pernicious weeds (eg Japanese knotweed)


  • Cardboard (small quantity)
  • Cigarette ends
  • Cork (small pieces)
  • Sawdust/animal bedding
  • Waste paper (eg cardboard tubes)
  • Wood ash


  • Books
  • Carpets and underlay
  • Cat and dog faeces
  • Chemicals
  • Coal ash and soot
  • Cork (large pieces)
  • Foil and food trays
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Nappies
  • Plastic (of any type)
  • String
  • Synthetic fabric
  • Wallpaper

​Some of these items can be recycled via the kerbside collection or at a recycling site.

All five of our Household Waste Recycling Centres accept garden waste. The garden waste is turned into compost which is available .

If you are not able or do not want to compost at home our kerbside collection includes weekly food waste and fortnightly garden waste collections.

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