Environmental reasons

 

Every year each person in the UK generates around 170kg of organic waste. By organic waste, it means products that were once living (food waste) along with cardboard, paper and garden cuttings. Now you might think like I did that sending them to a landfill will surely only do the same as composting them in your garden? Well, you would be wrong too and here’s why. Organic waste that breaks down in a landfill site produces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and composting does not.

 

This is due to landfill waste breaking down anaerobically due to it being compressed down and then covered with soil and clay to help prevent nasty smells. The side effect of this, however, is that it creates methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more powerful than CO2.

 

When we use a composter it rots the waste in the presence of Oxygen and worms, plantation and microfibers then slowly decomposes this waste into compost that we can then reuse produces significantly less CH4.

 

Statistics show that if just 25% of us stopped sending organic waste in landfill sites to composting it, we'd save the equivalent of 2.5m tonnes of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere each year.

Garden benefits

The compost that this creates is a nutrient-rich food product that will help prevent plant disease, improve the maintenance of moisture levels, improve soil structure and help balance soil pH scales. Soil microbes that are associated with using compost help plant growth meaning you can get healthier, bigger plants and most would say better tasting fruit and veg.

Making compost

 

Well there doesn’t seem to be one fix way of making the perfect compost but, there are a few do’s and don’ts. You can opt to go and buy a composter or create your own.

 

Do:

 

Place your compost mix directly onto the soil. This important to allow moisture, water, and friendly visitors needed to start the decomposition. If you are worried about a pest, then add a mesh under it, but dig a small trench around an inch deep and place the mesh in and then top with soil.

Add layers ideally starting with straw and or twigs on the base of a few inches deep. This allows water to drain but, will retain moisture. Layer organic materials such as leaves, straw, old corn stalks, weed-free and pesticide-free grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea, fruit peels, and other organic matter from the kitchen; just avoid meats, greasy ingredients, and pet droppings.

Keep is damp by watering it or allow some rain water in.

 

Don’t:

 

Add to many green products (kitchen waste, Grass clippings, Coffee grounds, Manure/fertilizers). You want a mixture of around 1 green to 3 brown (Leaves, pine needles, hay/straw, newspaper/cardboard/paper, sawdust)

Don’t be tempted to seal it in to avoid smells as this won’t allow air to flow and this will stop the decomposition process.

Don’t just leave it still. Turn the ingredients every week or two as it will form compost more rapidly.

Don’t add bones