‘Save the planet’ through your back garden

It seems that humble beginnings are generally considered acceptable in the saviour line of work, so I thought I’d start with rubbish – the compostable sort.

What counts as compost waste?

All of the following ‘green’ or ‘moist’ waste is acceptable fodder for your bin; vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, annual plants and weeds.

Adding leaves (but not roots or seedheads) of nettles and comfrey are highly nutritious contributions. Grass cuttings and delicate hedge trimmings can also go in.

Brown’ or ‘dry’ waste can be added such as the cardboard from cereal boxes, toilet and kitchen roll inners, shredded or scrunched paper (avoid anything glossy, though), and autumn leaves.

If you have a lot of these, you might prefer to make a separate leaf-mould cage that accommodates sawdust, paper and wood-ash, the contents of your vacuum cleaner – if you know it’s only been used for dust and hair and plants that have dried out.

Here is more guidance.

What types of bins are there?

There are a few different kinds, each with pros and cons, and some may be more suited to some situations than others:

  • A wooden twin bin composting system – looks good and allows you to get a system going. Once a bin is filled, it can be turned into the other, aerating the contents and then you can leave it to do its stuff while you start filling the bin you’ve just emptied with new waste.
  • Compost tumblers – get quick results, although you need plenty of stuff to feed them – won’t be an option for us until you’ve got something more suitable than brambles to compost.
  • Self Contained Composters – or ‘Dalek’ bins are the best option if space is tight; these don’t need aerating or turning; they work by heat build-up alone – put them somewhere sunny! Sometimes you can buy black plastic ones at a discount from local councils.

Garden Waste Removal

Garden waste can be removed in various ways.

Typically, the South East of England councils can be arranged to dispose of your waste in certain areas – although there may be a small fee.

Or consider using a specialist garden waste service.

One that stood out significantly is Rubbish Clearance Surrey, one of the leading garden junk removal and collection services.  You can read more about them here.

With outstanding Google reviews and cost-effective services.

Here’s what a customer said when using waste removal:

“RC Ltd did exactly what they said and removed all of garden rubbish and took away the fridge too. Great company!”

Photo of clean garden

What to avoid is essential.

You must not add any of the following; pernicious perennial weeds, soot, coal ash, cat litter, faeces from carnivorous animals, tissues, dressings and nappies, cooked food waste, animal bones and skins, ashtrays and cigarette butts.

It’s not that these things wouldn’t eventually break down into something less offensive – but they would pose considerable health risks before they do. 

And you would be left with some unpleasant chemical residues!