What food waste can I put in a composter?
01.04.2020 in News
With the recent news of suspended garden and food waste collections across the country, more and more of us are becoming understandably frustrated due to increasing interruptions to our daily lives. From the 30th March, many local councils have suspended their weekly collections in order to prioritise the collection of refuse and recycling. Rather than getting frustrated, this can be seen as a great reason to begin home composting - the most environmentally-friendly way of attending to kitchen and garden waste. With the weather warming up and the need for us to stay in our gardens and homes growing day-by-day, there couldn’t be a better time to start producing your very own natural compost or organic fertiliser for your garden.
So, with local councils urging us to begin home composting as a cheap and easy alternative to the disposing of garden and food waste, we have decided to answer the question: what food waste can I put in a home composter?
Vegetable and fruit scraps
For anyone new to composting, a great way to start is with vegetable and fruit scraps, cores, peels, grains, bread, coffee grounds and tea bags. Plastic compost bins are the ideal solution for a beginner looking to combat their mounting food waste as they are not only incredibly easy to use but are also remarkably durable. A great example is the 300L Rotol Compost Converter, the Winner of the Gardening WHICH? Best Buy Award. Opting for a high-quality bin means you can get the best out of your compost bin by also adding other waste items such as egg boxes, paper and fallen leaves.
Composting fruit and vegetable scraps is simple to do since shredding or clipping is not needed. However, it can help your compost pile break down at a faster rate, giving you finished compost to add to your garden in a shorter time. Smaller scraps can also result in a finer compost so, if you do cut up scraps before adding them to the compost pile, make sure to turn the compost often. A compost pile consisting of smaller scraps will be denser and will benefit from the aeration as a result of being turned over.
Eggshells, bread and pasta
You can find many contributors to your compost in your food waste. Eggshells, bread and pasta are great for your compost pile however, it’s important to consider that these examples of food waste do take longer to break down. To significantly cut the time it takes for your food waste to produce your natural fertiliser, a hot compost bin can reduce this period to as little as 12 weeks by reaching temperatures of up to 70°. There are numerous benefits to this method of composting, including little need to turn your compost and the absence of odour.
For those noticing a good amount of food waste, a hot compost bin such as the 200L Aerobin is ideal for those looking to feed in waste frequently - it will turn your home's food waste into compost with ease and the liquid produced from the waste is great for your garden.
Meat, dairy and animal bones
If you are looking to add meat, dairy and animal bones to your compost then we recommend bokashi composting. Bokashi composting is a simple, odourless and tidy method of home composting that utilises a fermented type of bran, which is sealed tight inside a bucket with your food waste. This bran relies on bacteria called lactobacillus, which is essential in breaking down your food waste into a rich compost.
The main benefit of using a bokashi bin or bokashi bucket is that you can add almost anything to your compost without needing to turn its contents. They can process meat, dairy and animal bones, although do note that bones will need cutting and trimming beforehand for the method to be most effective. Another benefit is that the bokashi bran has a pleasant smell, which overrides any disagreeable odours that may come about from rotting meat and dairy. For more information about our bokashi buckets, bokashi bran and bokashi bins see here.
Green / garden waste
If you are noticing a significant build-up of garden waste as well as food waste, you may need a larger composter. This could also be true for those simply with more people in their home. In this case, a hot composter is a great solution. Hot composters are perfect for fallen leaves and garden waste, which may take a tad longer to break down than food waste. If you feel you will need a composter that can accommodate both garden and food waste in varying amounts, a compost bin such as the 400L Aerobin is designed to handle sturdier waste products, making it ideal for sizeable gardens and those with noticeably green fingers.
With uncertain times ahead, it’s important to keep our environment as clean and as a green as possible. As we all hunker down for the near future and make adjustments to our routines, what better way is there to thank our gardens for those precious moments of tranquillity than with providing them with the most eco-friendly and sustainable feed there is: compost.