The first step is to get yourself a compost bin.  Just visit www.shropshire.getcomposting.com For residents in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, bins are available from just £16. There is also currently a special Buy One Get One Half Price Offer which makes them even better value.

You can download a leaflet here. Or you can also order by phoning 0844 571 4444

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STEP 1 Place your bin
It's best to site your bin on level, well drained soil. This allows excess liquid to drain out and makes it easier for helpful creatures like worms to get in. These help break down the waste.  Placing your bin in a partially sunny spot can help speed the composting process.

 STEP 2 - Put these in

Like any recipe, your compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work. Good things you can compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. These are considered 'greens'. Greens are quick to rot and they provide important nitrogen and moisture.

Other things you can compost include cardboard, egg boxes, scrunched up paper and fallen leaves.  These are considered 'browns' and are slower to rot. They provide carbon and fibre and give important air pockets.

Crushed eggshells can be included to add calcium.

 

 Step 3 - Keep these out
Certain things should never be placed in your bin.  No cooked vegetables, no meat, no dairy products, no diseased plants, and definately no dog poo, cat litter, or nappies.
Putting these in can encourage unwanted pests and can create smells.  Also avoid composting perrenial weeds, such as dandelions and thistles, or weeds with seed heads.

Remember that plastic, glass and metals do not compost, and should be recycled separately. Some newer 'bio' plastics are technically compostable, but take a long time to rot in your compost bin.

  STEP 5 - Use your compost

Finished compost is a dark brown, almost black soil-like layer that you'll find at the bottom of your bin. It has a spongy texture and is rich in nutrients. Some bins have a small hatch at the bottom that you can remove to get at the finished product, but sometimes it's easier to lift the bin up or tip it over to get at the contents.

Spreading the finished compost into your flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and suppressing weeds. Composting prevents the need for our precious peatlands to be dug up.  It is the easiest way to make your garden grow more beautiful.

Step 4 - Mix it up 

The key to making good compost lies in getting the mix right. You need to have a balance of greens & browns. If your compost is too dry, add more greens. If it's too wet, add more browns.  Making sure there is enough air in the mixture is also important so give it a stir with a garden fork occassionally.

Adding scrunched up paper or cardboard will create air pockets. You can also get air in by poking it with a broom handle. After approximately 9 months your compost will be ready.
 

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