North Yorkshire County Council is encouraging residents to lift the lid on their compost bins in support of International Compost Awareness Week from 7 May to 13 May.
While all local authorities in North Yorkshire collect garden waste for composting, composting at home has the added benefits of producing a soil improver for your garden and reducing the impact of transporting waste.
Home composting helps to divert garden waste and some uncooked fruit and vegetable waste from disposal, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and provides a self-made supply of compost.
Ian Fielding, Assistant Director, Waste Management, said: "Home composting is simple to do. You just need to put in the right combination of ingredients, almost like a recipe. Compost bins need a 50:50 mix of 'green' and 'brown' waste. Greens are nitrogen-rich and quick to rot, so they provide your compost with moisture. Browns are carbon-rich and are slower to rot, so they provide fibre and create air pockets in the mixture.
"To introduce air into the mix, scrunch up cardboard and paper and add twiggy materials from your garden. Cardboard egg boxes are an easy way to add air to your bin. This will reduce the need for regular turning. Placing your compost bin in direct or partial sunlight will help maintain higher temperatures inside and can speed up the composting process."
During Compost Awareness Week, the North Yorkshire Rotters composting volunteers will be at Spring Plant Sales Day at Ripon Walled Garden from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, 13 May, to inform and advise about home composting, wormeries, bokashi bins and green cones.
Compost bins can be bought at a subsidised rate to North Yorkshire residents at www.getcomposting.com.
Residents take almost 13,000 tonnes of garden waste to the County Council's household waste recycling centres each year. This waste is taken to one of Yorwaste's composting sites where it is processed and turned into Yorganics compost in just 11 weeks. Yorganics compost is bagged or sold in bulk, to be used by farmers, horticulturists and householders. Yorganics is 100 per cent recycled and peat-free and meets the British Standards Institution PAS 100 standard. As of Monday, 8 May, the compost is on sale at five HWRCs (Harrogate, Harrogate West, Selby, Ripon and Northallerton), for £4 per 40-litre bag or £10 for three bags. The bags of compost are also available through many garden centres and the remaining HWRCs will sell the compost later in May.
The following waste items are among those that can be used in home composting bins.
- Tea bags
- Grass cuttings
- Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps
- Old flowers and nettles
- Coffee grounds and filter paper
- Spent bedding plants
- Rhubarb leaves
- Young annual weeds (e.g. chickweed)
- Woody clippings
- Cotton threads and string (made from natural fibre)
- Vacuum bag contents
- Old natural fibre clothes (cut into small pieces)
- Tissues, paper towels and napkins
- Shredded documents
- Corn cobs and stalks
- Crushed egg shells
- Egg and cereal boxes
- Corrugated cardboard and paper (scrunched up)
- Toilet and kitchen roll tubes
- Garden prunings
- Twigs and hedge clippings
- Straw and hay
- Bedding from vegetarian pets
- Ashes from wood, paper and lumpwood charcoal
- Sawdust and wood chippings