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How to home compost

Follow these five easy steps to get the most out of your compost bin!


young girl and boy putting food into a compost bin

Step 1 - Placing your bin

It is best to place the bin on a level, well drained site. Putting your bin in a sunny spot will help it work faster, but it is also important to make sure it is easy to get to.

Step 2 - What to put in

Make sure you put in a 50:50 combination of 'green' and 'brown' ingredients.

Greens

Greens rot quickly and are a good source of nitrogen, these include:

  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • plant prunings
  • grass cuttings

Browns

Browns rot slowly and let air pockets form in the mixture, these include:

  • cardboard
  • scrunched up paper
  • sawdust
  • woody prunings

Step 3 - What not to put in

Do not add the following items as they can cause bad odours and attract pests:

  • cooked food
  • meat
  • fish
  • dog and cat faeces
  • nappies

Also avoid composting perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistles) or weeds with seed heads. Plastics, glass and metals are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately where possible.

Step 4 - Do as little or as much as you like!

Some people fill their bin and then leave it to compost by itself. This is fine as long as the balance of greens and browns is right, allowing food, air and moisture in your bin.

You can make the composting process quicker by letting more air to enter your bin. The easiest way to do so is to poke holes through your compost with the a broom handle.  

Step 5 - Using your compost

Finished compost is a dark brown, soil-like layer that you will find at the bottom of your bin after about 9 to 12 months. It has a spongy texture and is high in nutrients.

Find more information on what to do with your compost.