Get composting

Composting is good for your garden, but it is also good for the environment. Over 30 per cent of the average household bin can be composted – that’s nearly 150kg a year, which is about the weight of a baby elephant!

Composting at home is easy, and will give you free, good-quality compost.

The main thing to remember is to balance your 'greens' - which have lots of nitrogen - with your 'browns' - which don’t have much nitrogen - to keep your compost healthy.

For a free online home composting training course please visit East London Waste Authority’s home composting online course with Garden Organic.

Green compostable items include:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps and peels 
  • Tea bags, coffee grounds and filter paper
  • Crushed eggshells
  • Grass cuttings  limited quantity
  • Young hedge clippings
  • Annual weeds, for example chickweed and speedwell
  • Old flowers and nettles
  • Manure
  • Pond algae.

Brown compostable items include:

  • Gerbil, hamster and rabbit bedding
  • Egg boxes
  • Thin cardboard, paper, ridged cardboard packaging, toilet and kitchen rolls, and newspaper (torn up into small pieces)
  • Dry leaves (small quantities)
  • Garden cuttings
  • Hay Straw
  • Woody twigs and hedge cuttings
  • Ashes from wood, paper and lumpwood charcoal
  • Sawdust and wood chippings
  • Wool, cotton thread and tumble dryer lint
  • Vacuum bag contents
  • Shredded paper.

Please don’t add the following items to your compost bin:

  • Cooked food waste
  • Meat or fish
  • Cat litter or dog waste
  • Glossy magazines
  • Roots of perennial weeds (that is those which return year after year)
  • Diseased plants
  • Plastic, glass or metal