Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

Home composting

Home composting is easy! By following some simple rules, within six to twelve months, you will have a ready supply of rich compost to use in your garden.

Not only will you save money on shop bought compost by making your own, you will cut down on the amount of waste you put in your bins.

Basic rules for composting

  • A good mix of wet and dry waste is needed to make composting work well
  • Fruit peelings, newspaper and banana skins are all really useful
  • Your compost bin should be located on open ground, preferably in sunlight
  • Make sure the bin has air - poke some holes in with a garden fork

You can compost:

Dead flowers and plants, leaves, grass cuttings, garden prunings/clippings, weeds, bark, cold ash, straw, hay, wood chippings, sawdust, manure, bedding from rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and all herbivorous (vegetarian) animals, salad, fruit and vegetable peelings, teabags, coffee grounds, eggshells and cardboard (especially good are egg-boxes, loo rolls and corrugated card).

You should not compost:

Dog and cat faeces, disposable nappies, coal ash or charcoal, diseased plants, pernicious weeds, meat, fish, dairy products, cooked foods, metals, glass and plastic.

Trouble shooting:

  • The compost is wet and slimy - add woody waste or paper and card to help absorb the moisture and add texture to the compost. turning the heap with a fork will help to mix the new materials
  • The compost heap smells - a smelly heap means there isn't enough air getting to it. Try adding scrunched up paper or card to create air pockets and turn the heap with a fork
  • There are lots of flies around the compost- cover the heap or the top of the bin with a layer of soil 2 or 3cm thick
  • The compost does not appear to be doing anything- make sure that a wide range of materials have been added to the bin or heap. Ensure that the compost is kept moist, possibility by using an old piece of carpet to cover the top of the heap.

Buy a compost bin

The Northamptonshire Waste Partnership are subsidising a range of compost bins, wormeries and kitchen composters

Further information