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Assorted green waste

Foil cups

Compost Bin

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Decide where to site your compost bin or heap. A shaded spot in the garden, to which you can have access all year round is ideal. The compost heap must not be placed on paving, otherwise the worms and good bacteria that make the compost will not be able to get into the compost bin or heap.


If you are using a compost heap or a plastic or wooden composter, you can compost the following items:

  • Bark & branches (shredded)
  • Coffee grounds & tea bags / leaves
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit & vegetable waste, such as peelings, apple cores, etc.
  • Leaves & grass
  • Plants & plant clippings
  • Sawdust & wood shavings

The creatures that turn your green waste into compost will work faster if you feed them the correct mixture of materials. Some materials are dry and rich in carbon, whilst others are moist and rich in nitrogen. A good balance will help to produce high quality compost.

If you have too many dry materials in your compost, such as bark, branches or leaves, it will progress very slowly, and may appear not to be working. In this case, add some moist materials, such as fruit & vegetable waste or grass.

If you have too many moist materials in your compost, it may be soggy or smelly. If this is the case, you should add some dry materials such as sawdust, or even some shredded paper or cardboard.

If you have a lot of dry leaves, you can store them under an old carpet or in a bin liner and feed them gradually to the compost, as they do take a long time to break down.


Your compost should be moist to the touch, but not soggy. If it is very dry and crumbly, you should add some water or some moist materials such as plants or plant clippings.
If your compost is wet, you should add some dry materials such as shredded newspaper or wood shavings. You should also turn the compost with a garden fork, to mix in the dry materials, and allow some of the moisture to evaporate.


The creatures in the compost need air to produce good compost. You should turn the compost with a fork to aerate it occasionally.

Click here to find out how to harvest your compost.

If you have been successful with basic composting and would like to know more about different composting techniques, please click here.

If you are having compost problems, please visit Dr Compost.



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