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Most of us are now beginning to feel the pressure being placed on us to reduce the amount of waste we actually produce and to reuse or recycle as much of our household waste as we possibly can. Practically all local councils are providing bins to enable us to recycle at least two different items of household waste and many organisations have been set up specifically to dispose of just about everything else you can think of from mobile phones and battery chargers, to bits of metal and aluminium cans.
However, many people are still throwing away a large amount of kitchen and garden waste every day without a second thought as to where it will end up. If you throw it in the bin, it is likely to end up in a landfill site and that is not what any of us should want.
The problem with landfill
When kitchen and garden waste is discarded in our bins it will be buried underground along with mountains of other rubbish. As it is deprived of oxygen, it will produce methane gas as it starts to decompose. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming and climate change. Apart from the fact that we are running out of space for landfill, we must all do our bit to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce. In order to do this, governments have set targets to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill, including the amount of kitchen and garden waste we throw away, but it is still up to us, the individual, to do our bit and make a difference.
Putting kitchen and garden waste out with your household rubbish is unnecessary as this type of waste can be very useful if only you know what to do with it. A very simple and effective way to reuse this type of waste is simply to compost it.
The compost bin
The first thing would be to purchase a compost bin and place it in your garden. You can find out where you can purchase one of these from your local council. They will also be able to advise if there is a waste collection facility in your area for this type of waste which may be preferable if you don’t have a garden or enough space in which to compost. Composting actually takes up very little room so even very small gardens can benefit from a compost bin.
There are basically two different types of waste that you can compost:
– Green waste ‘ this is in the form of fruit and vegetable peelings, plant trimmings and grass cuttings. Green waste is very quick to rot and break down.
– Brown waste ‘ this can be in the form of small amounts of shredded paper and cardboard, egg boxes and dead leaves. Brown waste is much slower to decompose and creates air pockets which aid the decomposition process.
As the green and brown waste breaks down, together they produce a dark soily substance at the very bottom of the bin that can provide a very rich source of nutrients and minerals to feed your garden.
What you can put in your compost bin:
– Vegetable and fruit peelings and scraps
– Tea bags and coffee grounds
– Crushed egg shells and egg boxes (not plastic)
– Grass cuttings, leaves and plant trimmings
– Shredded paper and cardboard
What you cannot put in your compost bin:
– Dog and Cat poo
– Meat, fish and poultry
– Tinfoil and hard card
– Plastic, metal, glass or any other substance that cannot break down
Do you need a license?
Many people ask if you need some sort of license or permission to compost and the simple answer is no, not if it’s for domestic use. There are some rules if you keep animals. For example, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and deer can become ill and diseased if allowed access to composted kitchen waste and so you cannot compost in the same place where these animals are kept.
If you keep chickens and hens then any compost should be done in an enclosed container so that they cannot come into contact with the contents. Check with your local authority if you are unsure.
Domestic pets are ok though and you can compost at home without any approval or license provided of course that you use the compost in your own garden.
Apart from the fact that composting helps to preserve the planet and the environment and helps meet government targets for reducing household waste, nothing can be more satisfying than using your kitchen and garden waste to produce food to nourish your own garden.
About the Author
Dave McEvoy writes for a leading online skip hire company called Value Skips. Offering a nationwide service, dedicated to fast, no-hassle and responsible waste disposal. Value Skips are committed to offering low prices, with great deals for skip hire in Lancashire.