Jessica Rees
Sustainability and Engagement Officer
3 minute read

Compost Week UK takes place in March from the 11th to the 17th,celebrating the benefits of composting waste. Turning waste into something useful also helps reduce the carbon impact of what we throw away.

What is compost?

Compost is made up of decomposed plants, food waste, other garden waste, manure, and organic recycling materials. It is rich in nutrients and can transform your soil, giving your plants a boost when growing.

Compost is also great for enhancing biodiversity in your garden, it can become a whole ecosystem, attracting insects including worms, beetles and woodlice that feast on the compost waste, which in turn provides food for the birds, hedgehogs, and other valuable wildlife.


a worm sitting in compost


Compost preparation

To get started all you need is either a container or a spot in the garden covered with old carpet or plastic. Ensure there is drainage below and enough room for air movement – using wooden pallets or terracotta pots are perfect for this. Check out these other compost bin options.

Tip – keeping your compost in a shaded area will maintain moisture, this is great for worms and if it dries out, just add water.

Get stuck in

Compost is easy to create. Simply adding food waste (not dairy or meat), old plants, coffee grounds and plain cardboard to your chosen area will create compost over time. See here for what you can and can't add to your compost areas.

Tip – eggshells can keep the compost from smelling bad.

Let nature take the lead

Decomposition for compost can take anywhere from two months to one year but this is all dependant on the outdoor conditions and what is added to your compost area. Once the compost has turned to a crumbly, brown colour it is ready to use in your garden.

No room for a compost area?

If you are unable to have a compost area at home, you can buy a food bin for your kitchen and add your food waste, coffee grounds and tea bags. Once you have filled up your bin, you can:

Contact your local council for more information.