Home Composting – A Beginner’s 3 Step Guide

Home composting and the use of home composters and food caddies has increased in popularity recently. More councils are supplying households with bins for composting and more individuals are purchasing them independently to tackle food waste. Composting enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests, whilst also reducing methane emissions from landfill. This, in turn, lowers the individual user’s carbon footprint.

Recycling Now describes composting as an “inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and use”, a claim which we both agree and support. WRAP estimates that around 10 million tonnes of food waste is generated every year in the UK, post farm gate, 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people. This has a value of over £20 billion and is associated with more than 25 million tonnes of GHG emissions.

The main causes of food waste are impulsive and excessive purchasing, over cooking and simply forgetfulness. We have previously written a blog on how you can reduce this food waste to begin with, but today we would like to expand and explore the option of home composting and food caddies.

Although the majority of people begin home composting to help reduce their food waste and thus their carbon footprint, some people start composting as a hobby. Whatever the reason, here are three top tips guiding you on the best methods of composting from home.

Step 1: The essential tools to begin

To start, if you don’t already have one, it is beneficial to invest in a bin or caddy, lined with a compostable bag. Having a kitchen food caddy will encourage you to compost, due to its convenience. In here you would place peelings, left overs, egg shells, tea bags etc. instead of putting them into the kitchen bin. Our Compostable liners are made from biodegradable plastic, using starch and lactide-based derivatives of plant sources – this means the bag itself also composts, along with the contents inside.

Step 2: Check what to compost  

The next step is to educate yourself on what can / cannot go in your bin.  Garden waste, grass cuttings, leaves, hay / straw, fruit and vegetables, peelings, eggs, (most) teabags, paper and cardboard can all go in, but things to avoid include, bones, oils, faeces, and plastic waste. Plastic and glass waste should be recycled separately.

Step 3: Layering

A great tip is to layer the bottom of your compost bin with grass cutting, brush, twigs, hay or straw – from here you can add your other appropriate waste. This initial layer of compostable waste will help to quicken the break down of your waste. Watering your compost will also quicken up the process.

Time to watch it grow

Then you wait. Your waste can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year or so to transform into useable compost. From this you can then layer it in your soil to create your own vegetable patch and begin to grow your own. Not only will you have been reducing food wastage and the levels of food waste going to landfill, you will also be generating your own natural compost, ready for organic gardening.