What to put in the compost bin to start

What to put in the compost bin to start

What to put in the compost bin to start: There are 4 vital elements needed when building a compost pile. First of all you should aim to have a 50:50 split of both ‘green’ compostable waste and ‘brown’ compostable waste. The other vital elements needed to make compost are oxygen and moisture. Oxygen stops the pile from rotting and smelling. Moisture helps break everything down.

The right mixture of all the above will ensure your compost smells like nothing except earthly dirt.

If you are not seeing progress in your pile after a couple of weeks add more green material and keep the pile moist. If the pile gets too wet or is smelly add more brown material and turn more frequently.

What is ‘brown’ compostable waste? brown waste is dry matter including items such as wood shavings and dry leaves. Brown materials are rich in carbon, which feeds the organisms that break down the scraps.

What is ‘green’ compostable waste? Green waste is moist matter like fruits and vegetables. Green materials supply nitrogen which is vital for building the cell structure of your new soil

‘Brown’ compostable waste

‘Green’ compostable waste

  • Any wood product
  • Autumn leaves
  • Dried grass
  • Bamboo products
  • Straw
  • Any non-glossy paper both new and recycled
  • Black and white newspapers
  • Cardboard products
  • Tissue paper
  • Compostable food packaging
  • Compostable packaging
  • Pet bedding (from herbivores only)
  • Animal fur
  • Human fur
  • Coffee filters
  • Used kitchen towel (as long as it hasn’t been used to mop up oil)
  • Tea bags
  • Old clothes and fabrics made from natural materials including: silk, cotton, wool, cashmere, mohair,  jute, flax and hemp amongst others
  • Nut shells
  • Any fruit
  • Any vegetable
  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Fresh picked weeds
  • Fresh flowers
  • Plant clippings
  • Fresh leaves
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee beans
  • Tea leaves
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Oats
  • Old herbs and spices
  • Fruit pips
  • Pasta