Sunday, 25 October 2009

What a Load of Rubbish!

Recently, I visited a waste recycling centre - what would have been called, until recently, a rubbish tip. But it isn't just political correctness that has brought about this change of name: once not so long ago, this would have ended up in a landfill site, whereas now it is composted on an industrial scale and the resulting material is worth its weight in gold.

Green waste from the garden, as well as other material that will rot down, is brought by lorry to the site and piled up in long lines - windrows -stretching into the distance. The size of these heaps dwarf the heavy machinery used to move it.
Unlike the compost heaps of our gardens, the temperatures that are built up destroy all harmful bacteria, noxious weed roots and seeds, resulting in a clean, fertile and very marketable resource. The compost shown here is destined to be spread on fields and has made a significant reduction to the amount of synthetic chemicals and fertilisers being used on the farm, so there is a double positive effect to the environment.

This method of composting can be recreated on a smaller scale. The compost heap below belongs to a large garden which produces a lot of garden waste, whether from flowers and vegetables, from leaves or from the sheep which help to keep the grass low.

The result is the same: although the temperature does not reach the same height as with the industrial scale, the compost quality is excellent.

These timber compost bins, with removeable fronts, I make for my own garden as well as those of clients. Ideal for the smaller plot, they last for years, and keep the heaps tidy and easily managed. For smaller gardens still, there are numerous plastic compost containers....

.....so, there is no excuse! Get composting and help the environment as well as saving money on all those expensive bags of fertiliser.....

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6 comments:

  1. Good point 'there is no excuse!' and there isn't. I love your wooden compost bins. I will look you up if and when we finally move there :)

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  2. Love the look, feel and smell of home-made compost!
    My garden would not have such loamy soil without it.
    San Francisco has passed one of the first laws that all must compost! There's a backlash, but plenty of citizens are on-board.

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  3. I prefer the wooden bins to the plastic variety - and not just because I make them. They somehow are more aesthetically pleasing than plastic ones, even if the plastic has been recycled!

    People over here in the UK get rather fed up constantly being told what we should do to save the environment. Somehow the message comes over in the wrong tone - perhaps a bit school teacher-ish or scolding. Our local county council has signed up to the Master Composter scheme (which originated in the States)which trains individuals to spread the word within their community. I did my training last year and it seems to work quite well at 'spreading the word'.

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  4. I have always composted until we moved up here into the mountains. It is freezing cold for so long that it's hard to keep one going. Not only that, they attract bears and so are discouraged.

    Jeannie

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  5. The timber compost bins look really great. We have three plastic ones but I find them difficult to manage, you can't stir or mix the fibres properly. I usually end up just lifting them and starting in a different place, spreading the contents out like a mulch.

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  6. Timber bins are very easily manageable and I recommend them to everyone. They can also be easily made from old pallets taking recycling a stage further - and they're free.

    Bears aren't a problem for us in the UK - the last one was killed in the tenth century!

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