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Composting

Composting is a process of breaking down organic matter. Organic matter is your kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings, fruit skins, and tea bags but also your garden waste, such as plant cuttings, sawdust and leaves. The material is decomposed or broken down by micro-organisms like ants, earthworms, fruit flies and, most importantly, bacteria.

Home composting usually takes place in the presence of oxygen (aerobic) and produces humus - darker, much richer soil that has many uses in the garden, it can be used as a soil conditioner adding nutrients, soil fertilizer that supports plants’ growth and in some cases as a natural pesticide. There is a host of available sites where you can learn much more about composting (e.g. Home Composting, BBC’s step by step guide and WasteAware).

 

Home and Communal Composting Schemes

Composting is a great way of not only improving the quality of your garden’s soil but also of minimizing the amount of waste shipped off to our landfills.

You can compost easily at home using different containers such as traditional garden compost bins, kitchen composters and wormeries. The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership provides subsidised home composting bins to Hertfordshire residents including.  A traditional compost heap is great for garden clippings but food waste may attract rodents so an enclosed container is recommended.

If you don’t have a garden and you still want to do your bit then there are many ways you can get composting. In some areas there are communal composting schemes which you may be able to get involved in.

 

Composting collection schemes

Most Councils now collect compostable waste separately but what is accepted in composting collections may vary slightly between council areas so please check.  Some areas may accept only green garden waste, whereas others collect kitchen food waste and many collect both.  In addition some areas accept corn starch kitchen caddy liners or other biodegradable liners whilst others will not.  

For Three Rivers composting information click here.

For Watford composting information click here

 


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