How to start a compost bin and keep it at its best
At Wheelie Bin Solutions we're seeing more and more customers ask us about how to start a compost bin and the best ways to make a success of it.
Compost is a great way to reuse organic waste by turning it back into fertiliser for the garden. It's a closed-loop process and requires very little external energy or material input, making it a good eco-friendly option.
The good news is that it's quite easy to start a compost bin even in a small garden, while in larger gardens you might want to consider starting a compost heap at the back of a flowerbed or shrubbery instead.
For a self-contained compost bin, all you really need is a food waste wheelie bin and the right kinds of food and garden waste, and away you go.
What food waste goes in a compost bin?
Raw vegetable waste including fruit and vegetable peels, off-cuts like carrot tops, and leftover ingredients that you didn't fully use up can all go in your compost bin.
You can also put garden waste in there, like dead leaves, grass clippings, and dead flowers you pull up from your borders - just be careful not to let any invasive weeds get in there.
Avoid anything that will make your compost bin turn nasty, such as meat that can become infested with maggots, or dairy which will cause your compost to smell awful.
Top tips for healthy compost
Although it's not too hard to maintain a healthy compost bin or compost heap, there are a few things you can do to give your compost the best chance of rotting down to a rich fertiliser instead of a mouldy mess.
Here are a few of our top tips for the best compost:
- Put your compost bin on a flat, level and well drained surface.
- Turn your compost regularly to introduce air into the mix.
- Add worms to digest the waste faster for even quicker quality compost.
If your compost is too wet, introduce some dry materials like dead leaves or even some old shredded paper or egg cartons. These will also create air pockets as they rot down, helping to aerate your compost even more.
Do's and don't of composting
There are just a few final do's and don't of composting to keep in mind:
- Don't put large twigs and branches in your compost bin - these may me allowed in your garden waste wheelie bin or you could repurpose them elsewhere in the garden.
- Don't put non-compostable waste like plastic plant pots in your compost. Again, you might be able to put these in your plastic recycling bin instead.
- Do regularly turn your compost so any undigested material is mixed through and not just left sitting on top.
- excess fluid from your compost bin so the mix does not get too wet.
- your compost when it is well rotted down and looks a deep brown, rich and fertile, and free from any large undigested items.
Follow these tips and you should be well on your way to a wheelie bin full of fertiliser, instead of a mouldy maggot-infested mess!