Which bin for kitchen waste?
Adding kitchen waste to your home compost bin reduces the
waste going to landfill and improves the quality of your compost, so
which home compost bins are suitable for kitchen waste?
of your kitchen waste can be composted at home provided:
You put the right type of waste in the correct compost bin
You don’t overload your home compost bin
You keep your compost bin working well
Raw vegetable and fruit waste
will compost well in a lidded plastic home compost bin such as the
Compostabin, Ecomax or Komp.
It can be added to a wooden or plastic New Zealand Box.
These types of home compost bin are designed for a mix of kitchen
and garden waste so :-
Layer the kitchen waste with garden waste like weeds, stalky stuff
from the herbaceous border and dead flower heads.
Add in soft cardboard, egg boxes, kitchen towel and the centres of
toilet rolls, shredded paper and scrumpled newspaper (not flat
These dryer materials help to absorb moisture from the kitchen waste
and also create air pockets so preventing a slimy mess.
As long as you layer the kitchen waste with other material it will
make good compost.
a warm, dry compost bin that is left
undisturbed can seem like an ideal home for rats, mice and voles.
Mice and voles do no harm in a compost bin even though they may
startle us when we lift the lid but no-one wants rats.
The best way to discourage all rodent visitors is to : -
keep your compost bin hot by putting it in a sunny place and
regularly adding a 30cm layer of grass clippings. (Provided you do
not treat your lawn with “feed and weed”, the herbicides in these
products disrupt the composting process and can persist to damage
plants grown in the compost you have made)
keep your compost bin wet by adding plenty of green sappy material
like weeds, grass clippings and the raw kitchen waste. If it is
drying out in hot, sunny weather pour in a bucket of water or tip in
the dirty water from washing out your compost caddy.
Raw vegetable and fruit waste is also food for worms. See
Worms and Wormeries for
advice on how to set up and run a wormery.
food and fish and meat scraps
should only be added to a compost
digester – a special kind of home compost bin – such as a Green Cone
or Green Johanna.
These compost digesters are sealed in so that they do not smell and
so that foxes and rats can’t get in.
The Green Johanna has a base plate that sits on the surface of the soil and can be put in
a shady place. You add a mix of kitchen and garden waste and should
have usable compost after about a year.
The Green Cone has a basket which is dug into the ground
and the upper cones are screwed on to this. It is important that you
keep the level of
waste below or at the top of the basket, ie at
ground level. This way the Green Cone does not smell and will slowly
rot down your kitchen waste.
Emptying the Green Cone is a hassle as you have to unscrew the top
cones, and dig out the basket. But, provided you put in relatively
small quantities of cooked or fish or meat waste, you can position
the Green Cone in a shrubbery or by some fruit bushes and never
empty it while letting it feed your plants.
Collect your kitchen waste in a compost caddy or small lidded bucket
that can be kept in the kitchen. This saves having to trek to the
compost heap every day.