What is composting?

Composting is a hobby! Taking the vegetables and fruit that are left overs, putting them into a bottomless bin and waiting for it to rot. The death and rot of these vegetables and fruit are strong in nourishment that makes plants grow - weird!

You can ...
First step is to have a Composting bin. This could be purchased from a DIY shop, or you can make one from a wooden frame.
The bin goes straight onto the earth (not a concrete path!). This invites the worms to help process all that waste.

What can go in the compost bin?

Raw fruit and raw veg, grass and leaves, weeds and twigs, tea bags, egg boxes, egg shells, peelings and raw kitchen waste.
You can also add crunched up newspapers, shredded paper, corrugated cardboard and toilet roll centres. That should get you started!

You can ...
Get a small bin with a lid for collecting your raw fruit and veg in the kitchen. Greenwich Council should have given you a FREE one if you live in the borough.
Otherwise please visit Recycle Now for some great deals!!

What can't go in the compost bin?

NO2 - Nitrogen Dioxide. 50% caused by transport, 25% by power stations. At home - your gas stove. Not nice for those with breathing problems. It can cause wheezing, coughing, colds etc., but if you have asthma it can cause more frequent and intense asthma attacks.

You can ...
Don't put things in that will stink when they rot or attract rats or foxes. No cooked meat or cooked vegetables. No glass or metal or plastic. No dead animals or dog poo. No diseased plants. No hardwood or thick sticks.

What is O3 and what does it do?

O3 - Low Level Ozone. Produced by sunlight acting on vehicle exhaust fumes. It can cause eye and lung irritation, lowers resistance to infection, not good if you have asthma. it can poison plants.

You can ...
Make friends with someone who already has a successful composting bin for ideas and guidance on what works and what doesn't work.
Its better to talk to an experienced composter then to just read about it!

How will I know when its ready?

Lift the slide at the front of the bin and shovel some out. It should be dark and moist and not smell of anything that you put in the top!

You can ...
Start making plans for your new compost which may lead you to growing vegetables or flowers for the first time.
You may want to make friends with an experienced gardener to get advice on growing fruit and veg.

Can it go wrong?

Too much green grass without regular stirring will slow down the process. Too much dried sticks will also slow it down.

You can ...
Seek advice on what would be a good balance from an experienced composter.

What can the compost be used for?

You can simply dig it into the earth to enrich the soil or spread around bushes as a mulch. Mix with existing earth to make your own potting compost.

You can ...
Start growing plants in your home. This will improve the quality of the air through photosynthesis.

Do I need to add anything to it?

No. You could add a compost accelerator such as Garotta. This will speed up the process but is not necessary.
If the compost is looking a bit dry then adding some water doesn't harm.

You can ...
Just be patient! Composting is about saving money so let nature take its course.

How does composting help the environment?

Whatever you put in the compost bin doesn't go to a landfill or incinerator.
Nature deals with the recycling process for us!!

You can ...
Aim to compost 100% of your waste that can be composted. If everyone did their little bit then the borough will be greener and the amount of waste going to a landfill be minimal.

Does composting produce any gas?

Yes, it is possible for compost to produce Methane but if the composting is done properly then this wont happen. Composting does generate carbon dioxide but thats life!

You can ...
Make friends with someone who already has a successful composting bin for ideas and guidance on what works and what doesn't work. Its better to talk to an experienced composter then to just read about it!