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Composting - What do I actually need? What do I do?

(4 Posts)
Hulababy Wed 03-Oct-07 11:45:08

Something that has been interesting me for a bit, as we do need to start recycling more of our waste.

But I know nothing about composting or what is actually involved....

Can you enlighten me please?

Hulababy Wed 03-Oct-07 11:45:36

Oh and what can you put in the compost?

For example, someone suggested that when i clean out the gerbils - that can go in it too - is that true?

lljkk Thu 04-Oct-07 05:47:20

Depends what the gerbils are bedded on, but yes, probably. Sawdust, wood shavings, MegaZorb, newspaper -- all of that is compostible. So are all raw veg and fruit bits, toilet rolls (the cardboard bit), eggshell boxes, paper bags, old paper towels, natural fabrics like cotton & wool and eggshells are ok, too (says our council). Toilet rolls, Fabric/paper ideally shredded or ripped to small pieces first.

Must not put in faeces or cooked food (health and vermin hazards respectively). Mind you, I cast bread crumbs in mine, anyway.

These are options, assuming you have a garden:

1) have a condensed pile in messy corner of the garden you just keep adding stuff to it.
2) have some type of container that doesn't decompose or decomposes slowly. We used a concrete coal bunker for a few years, more recently DH built a wooden frame bin (it will slowly rot, but takes years).
3) A lot of councils flog Tardis-shaped plastic bins for a subsidised price. They have a lid and no bottom, you just put stuff in top.

Whatever sort you have, it's optimal if you shift the whole thing once a year; there will be rich soil out the bottom, and the area underneath will be ultra fertile the next year.

There are kitchen composters too for people w/out gardens (Google it).

Councils collect compostible materials in some areas for as little as £30/yr, providing you with a storage bin, too. Advantage of council scheme is you can throw all cooked waste food in there, the Council Compost heaps get hot enough to cook any would-be vermin.

Ahem....You can accelerate decomposition by adding human urine to the top. Otherwise you will need to throw in some water ocasionally anyway.

lljkk Thu 04-Oct-07 05:47:57

*Oh, but rodent faeces are okay, it's stuff like dog/cat/people pooh to leave out.

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