I love composting

I love composting! There, I’ve said it, it’s out in the open. Good to get it off my chest to be honest.

But it’s not doing the composting that I love, it’s what it does for me. I have one goal which is to reduce my waste to a minimum, and that’s why I compost. For those who want to learn how to make great compost I’m going to direct you immediately to Google. There are lots of YouTubes, blogs, and books which will tell you everything you need to know. I’m going to share how I reduce waste the most. Because that’s all I care about, reducing waste.

I got my first composter in 2001, it would be more accurate to say it came with the flat we bought in London and, to be honest, I didn’t really know what to do with this ugly green plastic bin which spoilt the view from the living room. But, inside was this lovely, crumbly dark compost, which my flowers loved, and which gave me my first real sense of the circle of life.

For the next few years I used the composter only to avoid going to the tip. While only about 5km from our flat, a round trip to the tip meant two hours of sitting in a traffic jam in a car full of smelly garden waste.

Fast forward a few years and I have embraced composting as a way to minimise waste. Two adults plus a dog (but she really doesn’t count because she leaves no food whatsoever) produce a surprising amount of compostable waste, and I don’t want any of it to end up in the incinerator.

This is what we put in our composter:

  • Fruit/vegetable peelings, cores, leaves, stalks etc.
  • tea bags (lots of these)
  • used ground coffee
  • garden waste – leaves, dead-heads, and grass clippings
  • dog fur and hair
  • used paper towels
  • the odd bit of torn-up unprinted cardboard


And what we don’t put in:

  • “compostable” cups, bags etc. (Yes I learnt the hands-on way, I now understand these can only be composted in special composters which they do not have in this area so they have to go in the bin)
  • tea bags which are made of something synthetic (who knew?)
  • dog poo (this has to go in the bin)
  • branches (these do not break down)


And the system we use? I have two composters, one year I fill one, next year I fill the other leaving the first one to “cook”, the year after I empty the first one and dig all the compost into our vegetable patch so it’s ready to be filled again.  Simple! By my own, very rough, estimates we put around 10kg/week into the composter which when you extrapolate over a year is about half a tonne waste saved. Yes half a tonne. And that’s why I love composting.