I want to know about home composting
Why home composting is important
Organic waste makes up one third of our rubbish. Unfortunately it is impossible to separate organic waste from other rubbish so when it arrives at a landfill site it sits and rots. As it rots it produces methane - a gas that contributes to global warming.
Composting your organic waste at home is not only good for the environment, but also leaves you with some great compost to use on your garden.
How to home compost
By following a few simple steps you can turn your kitchen and garden waste into compost.
First you will need to make or buy a composter. If you are buying you can find out more about how and where to get your composter below. If you are building:
- Build a pen from wooden slats. Leave a gap of at least 4" between each slat to allow air to circulate. Cover with old carpet or a sheet of polythene to keep the rain out.
- Use wire netting staked with posts.
- Stand the container on a soil base to allow drainage.
There are a host of helpful videos on YouTube.
The key to success is to keep the heap aerated and to use a balanced mix of waste. This will encourage aerobic bacteria, worms and other insects. They are key to breaking the material thoroughly.
Avoid adding large volumes of cut grass as this will suffocate the compost. Try and add all of the materials in thin layers. As you do so add crushed eggshells or lime powder and some garden soil as this will help produce the best aerobic conditions. Nitrogen or organic fertilizer can be added to encourage breakdown but make sure that you don't use it on the same layer as your lime - the two counteract each other. Turning your heap every 2/3 months will speed up the decomposition.
If you follow all of these steps then your compost should be ready to use after six months.
Where to get your composter and discounted water butt:
Composters and discounted water butts are available from Get Composting and also from East Sussex County Council.
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