As temperatures drop and the leaves begin to fall, composting is the best way to get rid of garden waste as you prepare your garden for winter.
The traditional picture of autumn gardening is of a smoky bonfire, but that pollutes the atmosphere and a much safer and more environmentally friendly approach is to compost green garden waste. Autumn is an excellent time to compost as there is plenty of garden waste available. Spent bedding plants, grass cuttings, autumn leaves and prunings can all be recycled over the coming months to produce a compost which is ideal for spring planting.
You can compost by putting garden waste in a heap but a compost bin is better if you only have a small garden or if you want to keep things looking neat and tidy. The council’s current reduced price offer means that you can get a compost bin from as little as £15 (plus £5.49 delivery). To order your compost bin call 0845 1306090 or go to the Get Composting website.
It’s important to have a good mixture of materials and not too much of one thing to make a good quality compost. As well as green garden waste, fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags, pet hair, and even shredded paper can be composted. Residents should try to aim for a 50/50 mix of ‘greens’ (vegetable peelings, old flowers, grass cuttings, spent bedding plants) and ‘browns’ (garden prunings, coffee grounds, tissues and paper napkins, cardboard, vacuum cleaner dust). Cooked food should be put in the food waste bin not in the compost bin.
If there are too many leaves for the compost bin, the excess can be placed in a bin bag with a few holes in it, and left to rot down. It will be a great soil conditioner in only a few months. Another good tip is to use the lawnmower to collect leaves: this shreds the leaves and helps to speed the composting process.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “This autumn’s compost will provide a free supply of nutritious soil conditioner that will enrich your spring planting, producing an abundance of flowers, fruit and vegetables next year. Home composting is by far the most environmentally friendly and easiest way of getting rid of garden waste – it can be done in your garden without moving the waste anywhere. It’s very easy to compost and there is a step by step guide on the Get Composting website.”
Find more information on recycling on the Council’s environment pages.