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Composting at home

  • Ordering a compost bin

    You can order a home composting unit from us. A unit costs £10, including delivery

    Order a compost bin

  • Composting your food and garden waste

    Turning your food and garden waste into compost is a great way to support the environment and reduce waste.

    You’ll also get free, nutrient-rich food for your garden.

  • How to use your compost bin

    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!
  • More help with composting at home

    Get a full list of what materials can be used in your compost bin, along with answers to frequently asked questions, on RecycleNow (link opens in new window).

    Our team can also help with any specific questions you have. Email us at environmentaloutreach@belfastcity.gov.uk

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