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Composting at home

  • Introduction

    We’re encouraging you to compost your kitchen and garden waste at home. 

    Composting is great for the environment and an easy way to transform your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden.

  • How to compost

    1. Place your composting bin in a reasonably sunny spot on bare soil. If you have to put your compost bin on concrete, tarmac or slabs, put a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom.
    2. You can also make a compost heap in a corner of the garden if you don’t have a suitable container. It could take a bit longer, but will still work.
    3. A 50/50 mix of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ is the perfect recipe for good compost. ‘Greens’ rot down quickly, provide nitrogen and moisture and include fruit and vegetable scraps, weeds, cut flowers and grass. Browns take longer to rot. They provide carbon, help with air flow and include twigs, dead leaves, cardboard and shredded paper.
    4. Use a kitchen caddy or plastic tub to collect your food waste. Do not compost cooked food, fats, meat or fish. (These can go in your council food waste collection).
    5. Empty the food waste into your composting bin or onto your compost heap along with waste from the garden.
    6. It can take between nine and twelve months for nature do its work. Mixing the heap will speed things up, but it is not essential.
    7. Check the progress every now and again. If the heap appears very dry, add some water and increase the amount of ‘greens’ you are adding. If it is very wet, mix in some ‘browns’.
    8. Your compost is ready when it is crumbly, dark and resembles thick, moist soil. If there are lumps of material that have not broken down, put them back into the composter again. Use your nutrient-rich free fertiliser to feed the plants and flowers in your garden. They will love it!

    For more information, including a full list of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’, more details on setting up a compost bin and frequently asked questions, visit the recyclenow website (link opens in new window) or email

  • Home composter competition

    To promote home composting we are giving away 10 home composting units. So if you live in the Belfast area and are aged 18 and over, you can enter our competition.

    Terms and conditions

    • The Promoter is Belfast City Council of City Hall, Belfast BT1 5GS.
    • The competition is open to any individual who lives within the Belfast City Council boundary.
    • You can enter the competition by registering online using our online form on the Belfast City Council website.
    • Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed.
    • Entrants into the competition shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
    • The closing date for entries is 12 noon on Friday 6 November. Entries received outside of this time period will not be considered.
    • Ten winners will be chosen from a random draw of entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.  The draw will be performed by a random computer process.
    • Belfast City Council accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with the prize and not specifically included in the prize.
    • The ten winner(s) will be notified by email on or before Friday 13 November and must provide a postal address to claim their prize. If a winner does not respond to Belfast City Council within 14 days of being notified then the winner's prize will be forfeited and Belfast City Council shall be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above (and that winner will have to respond to notification of their win within 14 days or else they will also forfeit their prize).  If a winner rejects their prize or the entry is invalid or in breach of these Terms and Conditions, the winner's prize will be forfeited and Belfast City Council shall be entitled to select another winner.
    • The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
    • Belfast City Council retains the right to substitute the prize with another prize of similar value in the event the original prize offered is not available.
    • Belfast City Council reserves the right to disqualify any individual who does not comply with the terms and conditions.
    • This competition is governed by the laws of Northern Ireland and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Northern Irish courts.
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