If you want to make your own compost, you can get home composters at reduced prices. Made from recycled plastic, these bins can be put in your garden and used for disposing of garden and some kitchen waste.
Not only does home composting reduce your waste, it also provides free nourishment for your garden to boost vegetables and flower beds.
Visit the Derby Get Composting website or contact Streetpride on 0333 200 6981 for more information.
Composting involves putting certain types of food, garden and recycling waste into a special container to rot.
The various chemicals in each type of waste work together with the microorganisms, insects and animals present in the mixture. They break down the different materials, while worms tunnel through the mixture to create air pockets.
This process transforms your waste into compost: a substance which can boost your soil's potential to grow food and plants.
Ideally, you want to put in a mix of 'brown' carbon-based waste and 'green' nitrogen-based waste. Aim for over half of your compost to be made up of brown waste.
|Brown waste||Green waste|
|Cardboard||Vegetable kitchen waste|
|Wood chippings||Tea leaves|
|Dead leaves||Cut flowers|
|Nut shells||Annual weeds|
The nitrogen-based items will give your compost the right amount of moisture, while the carbon allows air pockets to form.
Certain things definitely shouldn't go into your compost heap:
You need to 'turn' your compost at regular intervals to ensure it is aerated. This will also give you a chance to keep an eye on your compost and check if it is the right texture. For example, you'll be able to see if it needs a bit more water or any compost activating products to speed the process up.
Composting is a slow process, and the various products can take a year or more to break down.
When your compost is ready, it will be a rich brown colour, look like soil and feel quite crumbly and spongey to the touch. If anything hasn't quite rotted enough to be used in the garden, you can leave it in the bin to give it more time. Egg shells can often take longer than other items, for example.
Your freshly-brewed compost can be sprinkled over your flowerbeds and vegetable patches to encourage growth. It will improve the quality of the soil and help to retain moisture, creating the perfect environment for your garden to flourish.