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Reading discussion "Composting" - Join this discussion / 3 comment(s)
Composting is one of the first things that people think of when they think of green living, and many councils now encourage it by having compost bin collections or by providing significant discounts on garden composting bins. It's such an easy, logical thing to do that i think that anyone with a garden should compost and that all new build properties should have a compost bin (along with a water butt). Even flats can compost ... just have a small bin in the kitchen and empty it when you empty the main bin.

The issues that I have had with composting over the years are:

1 - I have a lawn that has a lot of bindweed growing in it (oh how I love the overgrown gardens surrounding us!) so have to remove as much of that as I can before cutting the grass otherwise it'll start to grow in the compost bin! (Not what you want in the vegetable patch).

2 - You can't compost all kitchen food waste, only from raw fruit and veg plus tea bags and crushed egg shells. I know that you should really aim not to have any waste from meals ("reduce" being the first of the 3 Rs) but with children around there often is... this goes in the bin!

3 - I'm needing 2 bins... in order to "air" the compost at the bottom of the bin, I end up mixing the fresh stuff into the "composted" waste, which means i have to leave it longer before it can be used. I'm tempted to have two bins at different stages in the process. I'm open to advice here though.

4 - the bin in the kitchen got very smelly very quickly and in the summer attracted lots of fruit flies, so I've ended up using paper bags (these can be ripped up and put into the bin too).

5 - trying to persuade everyone else to use the compost bag in the kitchen.

Just today I've come across a great new type of bin that means you can compost all food waste. The Kitchen Composter sounds like a great idea to me as it means you don't have to resort to a wormery to get rid of dairy and cooked waste. But, it's rather large!

What's your success rate / issues? Any advice? Is it of any concern to you - are you one of the lucky ones whose council collects all of the compostable items (having said that, I'd still want a bin so that I can use the compost on my own garden).

Actually, there's a point, what happens to all of the compost that the councils develop?

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  1. Re: Composting by JoP, 1280 days ago

    I've used a compost bin for many years now, the only frustration I have is that standard compost bins are rather difficult to manage as far as regular turning over of the waste is concerned -I find I have to buy bags of compost most years as the breaking down process in my bin is so slow- does anyone know any tips to speed up the process?

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  2. Re: Composting by SamMGH, 988 days ago

    JoP, I've found that these bins work really well - http://www.mygreenerhome.co.uk/garden-60/compos...

    They're easy to turn too.


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  3. Re: Composting by ecosrights, 947 days ago

    I solved the smelly kitchen bin / fruit fly problem. we now have a 2 compartment main bin in the kitchen with one for composting and it seems to be doing the trick (having said that, we've not done a hot summer with that arrangement yet).

    My actual compost looks great, but it always has lots of woodlice and ants in it. I commented about this on the wrap.org site about composting. This is the response I've had from them:

    "ants aren't really a problem. In fact they help to aerate the compost as they burrow through it. Watering will help to disperse them before emptying your bin. Often when you tip the compost out it will attract birds who will feed on the ants. The woodlice like to feed on the dead and decaying matter in your bin not on living plants so when you tip it onto the garden you shouldn't have a problem but don't use it on young susceptible seedlings which they might eat off at soil level."

    So, time to put it on the garden I think... I might spread it out on some unused soil first for the ants and woodlice to leave it at bit (it must be good stuff though - where I spilt some when I took some out a few weeks ago, the grass is growing like crazy by comparison with the rest of the garden)

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