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I Took Up The Composting Challenge: A Case Study

By: Sarah O'Hara BA (hons) - Updated: 19 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
I Took Up The Composting Challenge: A Case Study

Carolyn has been composting for around 18 months now. She got started with composting because she was worried about the amount of rubbish in her bin and was keen to do her bit for the environment in as many ways as possible. She said: “I knew that composting was a good way of reducing the amount of rubbish I was throwing away and it just went from there”.

Getting Started

Carolyn explains how she got going with her composting venture: “The city council had a special offer on composting bins. I think I only had to pay £7 or so and in garden centres they were more like £30, so that pushed me to do something about it. When the bin arrived it was too huge for the space I had for it. When I spoke to a neighbour, she said she had always wanted to compost so we agreed to share the bin and put it beside her house in a spot I could access without passing through her house. The agreement was that I would deal with the compost as and when.”

So, how does it work on a practical level? Carolyn explained: “I keep kitchen scraps in a lidded, filtered tub. I use compostable liners to keep the mess down. I compost only raw vegetable and fruit remains. I put in torn paper and toilet paper and kitchen roll tubes from time to time. I also put tea bags and tea leaves in. Around once a week I empty my tub into the compost bin. I empty compost out of the bin every six months or so."

Understanding the Basics

Sounds simple enough, but was it? Many people are put off composting as they think it is complicated and difficult to manage. Not so, says Carolyn: “Initially, I didn’t find the practicalities of composting difficult to understand at all – it was easy. The people who provided the bin provide written leaflets and also a website address to get me started. They also send regular newsletters.”

Carolyn encourages other would-be composters to go for it, saying: “It is fun in an odd sort of way. I was thrilled by the first batch of compost – it is really clean and not smelly at all (which I had expected). It was rather exiting to know that I had made it out of food rubbish!”

Composting Tips

  • If you live alone why not, like Carolyn, share composting with a neighbour or two?
  • Before you spend money on a composting bin, ask your council what they can offer. Like Carolyn’s local council, they may offer a deal or discount to encourage composting.
  • As Carolyn did, research composting online and see what information your local council offers. Experienced composters will usually be more than happy to help.
  • If you’re worried about mess from composting, investigate the products which are on the market to help you compost without mess and fuss. For example, Carolyn used a special lidded, filtered tub and compostable liners – both these products are available in high street shops.

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