Sunday, May 04, 2008

Compost Awareness Week

hands full of compostIt’s Spring and the gardens are bursting into life. Already there is work to do, weeding and mowing the lawn. What amazes me is that whenever I go over to the Chigwell Recycling and Reclamation site with my huge bag of cardboard I pop over to the green waste section to see what’s in there. Some of it is not exactly suitable for garden composting, agreed, but most of it is. So why do people not compost at home? It’s easy, it’s clean, it doesn’t take up much room, you can put uncooked kitchen waste in too [potato peelings etc] and you get the benefit of peat free compost to bring on your seedlings.

WRAP and The Composting Association will be encouraging everyone to 'Green up their Environment' this Compost Awareness Week, Sunday 4th May to Saturday 10th May.

Search for events near you here [Click!]. There are quite a few in Redbridge. Just type in your postcode.

How to get Started.
Composting Tips
Using your compost

Special offers on Compost Bins here, [Click]. Type in your postcode.
For Redbridge click here. A 220 Litre compost bin made from 100% recycled material for only £12. 330 Litres £20. A Bargain.


  1. Don't agree entirely, can't agree entirely; so let's make it simple.
    Any material which originally grows in the soil, or commercially by hydroponics, may have waste matter from their trimmings.
    Any garden plants – which some call weeds – and all other plants be they pernicious or just end-of season are called compostable.
    Many light-weight papers (which do not have coloured photographs on – coloured inks often contain noxious chemicals), cardboards (most), woollen carpets, clothing and materials, cotton materials but not mixed fibres, all can be shredded and mixed in with the compostable and trimmings.
    All of these can be placed inside a plastic sack – colour immaterial – and stacked in a heap for a few weeks in warm weather or longer if part of the period is in cold weather.
    When the sacks – by pushing lightly with a wide stick – indicate the inside content is mostly rotten – then open the end of the sack (of whatever kind) and place it:
    1. On your compost heap; or
    2. In your compost container (cheapo made from of pallet planks); or
    3. At the bottom of a large plant container, fill with soil or organic (non-peat) compost and grow lovely plants in the growing medium.

    This way:
    A. You use up all those ubiquitous sacks (cat-litter, catalogue items through the post etc.
    B. You allow all the difficult things like convolvulus, Japanese knotweed, dandelion roots to rot-down into compost
    C. You make an initial tidy heap which can be contained and which can deter rodent and other animal and bird inquisitiveness
    D. You can inspect, periodically the types of compost you are making, and you can provide large containers with essential organic, water retaining material.
    E. If, by the odd chance you are impatient (heaven forbid) and put some unready compost from one of these bags into your large container, then these bindweed etc are easily controlled and dispatched.
    F. Large containers are cheap (from £1, up to £5) and are often made of recycled ‘hard’ plastics, so you are containing plastics which would otherwise take years to degrade.
    G. You, do, of course need common sense, a will to do the least work possible, the greatest effort to keep this planet working well, and the heart to be able to enjoy plants or all descriptions.

    Conclusion, most factory-made compost containers have very little scope for making good and available compost. Plastic sacks (from heavy-weights to light-weights) are the biggest problem for disposal applications. The above solves all these, and like cry-oh-genics, we can use them until an efficient disposal system is realized.

    P.S. No you do not have to inspect, fill or change these bags of compostable material with your best clothes on. The point of using these plastic sacks is, that you choose the size that you can easily handle. These sacks make less humic-acid (the runny black liquid) than you might imagine, but expect some droplets, so use sacks that are light enough for you to hold and empty and fill away from your body.
    Finally – I may have missed out some finer points – but I am sure you get the drift.

  2. PS have done the above for over 40 years and also used twigs, hedge and fruit tree prunings, leaves and up-to-an-inch thick soft branches. Enjoy