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HOME COMPOSTING

How to compost

Compost Safely

Which Bin to Choose?

Your Compost Ingredients

Emptying your Bin

To turn or not to turn?

How long to compost?

Worms and Wormeries

Topical Composting

Kitchen Waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and Weeds

Too much grass?

Leaves for leafmould

Seasonal Tips

Leaflets to download

Unwelcome Guests


WHICH COMPOST BIN TO CHOOSE?

Compostabin works wellASK Organic have been testing different kinds of home compost bin since 1995. We have tried them out in real garden situations, filling them with the mix of garden and kitchen waste that most of us need to compost.
Some bins are easy to use and make good compost. The most practical are ones that are designed to have material added all year round. These are the simple ones like a Compostabin or New Zealand Box. They sit on the earth, have solid sides and retain warmth and moisture.
You can make your own New Zealand Box :a large one or a small one from wood or recycled plastic boards. Tips and advice in DIY Compost Bins

The consumer organisation Which? have been testing home compost bins in 2014 and 2015. Their Best Buy is the Compost Converter.  If you are lucky enough to live in the Scottish Borders you can order this for FREE one per household, by phoning 0300 100 1800.

Other bins are difficult to assemble and empty : these have fancy fastenings or moving parts that can go wrong. Poorly fitting lids blow away, hinges become brittle and break.

weeds grow in gapsSome bins have holes or gaps round the sides. These let out heat and moisture so composting proceeds very slowly in the cool dry condition or stops altogether. Weeds germinate in the gaps.

Bins with hatches: the composting material gets dry round the hatch so breaks down more slowly than the rest of the contents. While a hatch is useful to check on how things are going it is very difficult to empty a bin through it. As you start to shovel out the finished compost partially rotted material from above falls in to the gap you have made and it is almost impossible to get out the compost from the back. So you have to lift the bin off the heap, fork back in what is not yet rotted and shovel away the made compost. This can be a struggle with a shaped bin though easy with a round compostabin that lifts up readily.

A specialist bin like the Green Cone that is designed for just food waste works well but you need another bin for your garden waste.
Similarly a wormery will only take raw fruit and vegetable waste and needs careful looking after.
Tumblers can work efficiently but need to be filled in one go, so require a large amount of compostable material at a time. Then you need another tumbler/s or bin to take your kitchen and garden waste while the first tumbler is working.

For large amounts of grass mowings or fallen leaves it is best to build a special bin. (Download one of our free leaflets for instructions)
Whichever bin you choose it is important to fill it with the correct ingredients for that bin.

Always compost as much as you possibly can, even if you donít have the ideal set up. The rewards are huge: free compost, greater biodiversity in your garden and reduced waste disposal problems.