Composting – Nature’s way of recycling.
Over half of the rubbish in your wheeled bin can be
converted into a nutrient rich compost which will help your garden
bloom. Organic waste is biodegradable and when it is buried
in landfill sites it rots and produces methane gas. The main
concern with regard to methane gas is that it is a powerful
greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. Landfill sites
also produce carbon dioxide, another global warming gas. It
is not necessary to send organic waste to landfill sites as it can
be converted into a compost, soil conditioner or mulch by
Barrow Borough Council is committed to reducing the amount of
waste sent to landfill sites.
And now take waste to the Shanks Mechanical Biological
Treatment plant in Barrow. Tough new government targets
require huge reductions in the quantities of biodegradable waste
being sent to landfill and failure to meet these targets will
result in large fines for the Council. As a Council we are
dependant upon the help and support of our residents to enable
these targets to be met.
You can make your own compost heap or buy a purpose made
compost bin. Either way you will be able to convert food
waste and other organic material into compost. Home
composting is even more environmentally friendly than sending green
waste for recycling as no energy input is required for transport or
in the recycling process.
Where is the best place to put a compost bin?
For the best results your compost bin should be positioned in
a sunny spot on well drained soil. The soil below the bin
should be loosened to improve drainage and increase access for
worms, insects and microbes. If you have to place the bin on
concrete, place two or three pieces cardboard in first and then add
a spade or two of compost to your new bin.
What can I put in my composter?
You can compost almost anything that is biodegradable, this
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Teabags and coffee grounds
- Annual weeds (avoid persistent weeds and weeds in seed)
- Shredded or torn paper and egg boxes
- Grass cuttings and prunings
- Small items of cardboard e.g., empty toilet roll centres
Remember that bugs prefer little bits, so try to cut up fruit
and vegetables and break up any large bits of twigs.
Things to avoid include:
- Meat and fish scraps
- Cooked vegetables
- Cheese and dairy products
- Diseased plants
- Dog or cat litter
How do you know when the compost is ready?
Your compost is ready for use when the material becomes a rich
dark brown colour which when squeezed in the hand feels moist but
not too wet. There shouldn’t be any material left that
resembles anything that you put in the bin.
Where do I get a compost bin?
How do I find out more about home composting?
For information on starting home composting, advice for people
who are already producing their own compost, visit the recycle
Resource Cumbria is a partnership between Cumbria's seven
councils that aims to make a world of difference by focusing on
reducing, reusing and recycling waste - and showing that one
person's waste is another person's resource. For more
information on Resource Cumbria and to access a wealth of
information and advice on how to reduce, reuse and recycle - be
resourceful and visit the Resource Cumbria web