Home composting

Up to 35% of household waste is organic and suitable for home composting. Simply put it in a compost bin and leave it to breakdown for a few months.

A step by step guide to setting up your compost bin

  1. Find the right site - Locate your compost bin in a reasonably sunny site on bare soil. If you have to put your compost bin on concrete/tarmac ensure there’s a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom. Choose a place that's easily accessible.
  2. Add the right ingredients - A 50/50 mix of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ is the perfect recipe for good compost. Greens include: vegetable and fruit peelings, grass and leaves. Browns include toilet and kitchen roll tubes, cardboard and eggshells. Take care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish (you can put these in your green recycling bin if you have one).
  3. Wait a while - It takes between nine and twelve months for your compost to become ready for use, so now all you need to do is wait and let nature do the work. Keep on adding greens and browns to top up your compost.
  4. Ready for use - After around 9 months, your compost should turn into a crumbly, dark material, resembling thick, moist soil that gives off an earthy, fresh aroma. Don’t worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshell – this is perfectly normal. Use it to enrich borders and vegetable patches, plant up patio containers, feed the lawn, suppress weeds and improve drainage.

Top tips

  • Get yourself a Kitchen Caddy to collect scraps. It saves time and the effort of having to nip out to the compost bin every time you prepare a meal.
  • Garden soil and finished compost are full of micro-organisms. Add half a shovel maximum (too much will slow the process down) to add nutrients to your composting.
  • Good aeration (airing out) is required to produce the best compost. To help aerate your bin you can add scrunched up newspaper which creates air pockets

Where can I buy a compost bin?

You can purchase cut price compost bins through the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.

More information about home composting

For useful information about home composting visit Recycle Now (external link).

© Wigan Council