Guide to Home Composting

There are a number of ways to produce compost and there is a method available to suit all lifestyles. The best method for you will depend on what you want to compost - whether you want to compost only food waste, only garden waste or both and whether you have a garden which produces large volumes of garden waste.

Standard Compost Bin

File 395Standard compost bins allow you to compost a mixture of kitchen and garden waste. You can purchase compost bins from a variety of stores including garden centres, hardware stores or online retailers.

You can compost the following materials in a standard compost bin:

YES:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Shredded cardboard and paper
  • Tea leaves
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cut flowers
  • Bedding from pet cages
  • Egg shells
  • House plants

NO:

  • Cooked food
  • Raw meat and fish
  • Nappies, glass, plastic or metal
  • Cat or dog litter
  • Coke or coal ash
  • Diseased plants

Food Digester (green Cone)

File 396Food digesters (of which one type is Green Cone) break down food waste into a nutrient rich liquid that seeps into the soil in your garden You can put the following in a Green Cone:

YES:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Tea leaves
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooked food
  • Egg shells
  • Raw meat and fish

NO:

  • Bedding from pet cages
  • Cat or dog litter
  • Cut flowers
  • Diseased plants
  • Feathers
  • House plants

Green Johanna

File 397Green Johannas are similar in operation to a standard compost bin but are designed to allow you to compost meat, fish and cooked food as well.

You can compost the following in a Green Johanna:



YES:

  • Bedding from pet cages
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooked food
  • Cut flowers
  • Egg shells
  • Feathers
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Garden waste
  • House plants
  • Raw meat and fish
  • Shredded cardboard and paper
  • Tea leaves

NO:

  • Cat or dog litter
  • Coke or coal ash
  • Diseased plants
  • Nappies, glass, plastic or metal

Composting with worms

File 398Composting with worms (which is often called vermi-composting) is useful if you want to compost vegetable kitchen waste (excluding meat and fish). You can compost the following in a wormery:

YES:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Shredded paper and cardboard
  • Tea leaves

NO:

  • Bedding from pet cages
  • Cat or dog litter
  • Cut flowers
  • Coke or coal ash
  • Diseased plants
  • Feathers
  • House plants
  • Nappies, glass, plastic or metal
  • Raw meat and fish