Making Compost

What is Compost?

Compost is decomposed organic material.

If you put your rotten vegetables and peelings and other unwanted plant material into a pile outdoors on top of the soil, worms and microorganisms will help to break it down and turn brown and crumbly. This compost is full of nutrients and perfect to grow new plants and to improve your soil.

It’s the perfect circular system!

Why Should I Compost?

  • Compost gives plants nutrients to help them grow strong and healthy.
  • Compost improves your soil which also means less watering is needed.
  • Compost is a great mulch which helps suppress weeds in your soil.
  • We pay lots of money for small bags of compost that have travelled miles to get to your local store when lot’s of us have the ingredients at home.
  • Food waste makes your kitchen bin smell. Place it into your outdoor compost bin to save emptying the kitchen bin so often!
  • Cuts down on waste in your bin which means less waste burned in the incinerator.
  • Saves buying compost for your garden which saves money, plastic and transporting goods.
  • At the moment, most shop bought compost contains peat. Digging up peat destroys our environment.
    Why should I use peat-free compost? 

How Do I Compost?

  • Make space for two compost bins if you can.
  • You could build them out of old pallets to fit a space or buy plastic bins cheaply from the council or second hand.
  • Keep a lid on your compost bin or covered over.
  • Fill one bin up, cover over and leave the worms to turn your waste into compost while you fill the other bin.
  • It is better to turn the rotting compost over with a garden fork once in a while to incorporate air which helps it to rot down.
  • Your kitchen and garden waste will turn into compost more quickly in warmer weather.
  • The compost is ready to use when it’s brown and crumbly.

What Can I compost?

  • Vegetable peelings, any part of uncooked fruit and vegetables, even if it’s mouldy!
  • Grass clippings
  • Plants, cuttings and leaves.
  • Pet bedding.
  • Wood chippings.
  • Manure
  • Cardboard and paper – a great way to get rid of your paper bills!
  • Empty paper food packaging and pizza boxes
  • Coffee grounds and teabags
  • Egg shells
  • Uncooked grains
  • Hair
  • Natural fibres – wool, cotton, linen

What Can't I Compost?

  • Cooked food (you can in a special compost bin like a hot bin)
  • Meat and fish bones
  • Plastic
  • Thick branches
  • Weeds – some weeds can but check in a book or on the internet first
  • Pet faeces

Community Compost

A community compost is a great solution for people without a garden or space for compost bins to share a compost bin with their neighbours.

The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership supports nearly 40 community composts. Visit their website to find out more about how it works.