Kitchen compost bins: get composting and grow your own

Kitchen compost bins: get composting and grow your own

..or at the very least save your food scraps and peelings for your local council to compost. So come on people, make 2020 your greenest year ever, which means getting a counter top bin for the kitchen - and a garden composter too if you have the space.

By Abby Trow
do your bit for the environment and compost your food waste

Still not started composting your food waste? come now, there's no excuse for being so anti-eco-social. Salve your conscience by buying a kitchen compost caddy and you'll be contributing to the creation of nutrient rich compost (see above) for your garden, or for your council to use to benefit its parks and public spaces. 

You'd probably have a fit if you saw a family member put a tin can, newspaper or plastic drinks bottle into the 'normal' (ie destined for landfill) kitchen bin. But do you explode in green-faced exasperation if you see someone put some tangerine peel, teabags or eggshells into that same bin?

If yes, enjoy a metaphorical pat on the back.. you can pass go and move on to another article.

But if the answer is 'er, no..why would I?' well, if we can be so bold, you need to read on...

Compost is, as we all know, good for plants; and environmentalists, gardeners and local councils urge us to collect our food waste because it makes great nutrient-rich, free compost that isn't full of chemicals. We can use compost for our gardens, councils use it to keep their parks and public spaces in bloom and they also sell it to raise cash. Food waste that ends up in landfill doesn't do anyone any good, it just contributes to the build up of methane gas.

However, if the thought of having food scrapings and peelings hanging around makes you think yuk, well, once you're armed with a compost bin and corn starch bin liners you'll feel differently about it.

Oxo Good Grips counter top caddy, £14.99, is ideal for the job..just line with a starch  bag
For the garden..Primrose's wooden beehive composted, £76.99, www.primrose.co.uk
Put your corn starch bags of food waste and peelings into these large bins by British Bins. www.britishbins.co.uk
Pretty red and cream steel compost bins by Typhoon, £14.99, available at Lakeland
Stainless steel caddy with charcoal filter by Eddingtons, £18.99, available at Primrose www.primrose.co.uk
Urba 7L recyclable polypropylene counter bin by Peter Ridley, www.peterridley.co.uk

If I might interject here..until I was given a sweet little counter top bin and a roll of biodegradable liner bags a year ago I was revolted by the idea of accumulating scrapings and peelings. But now I'm a zealot and if I see my kids slip a banana skin or eggshell into the main bin, well, woe betide them and they have to retrieve it and put it in the compost bin. I don't mean to brag, merely to say that once you have the bin and the liner bag (the latter is crucial...) you'll be tranformed into a composting warrior.

Kitchen counter bins

The are plenty of fine bins and pails to choose from. For inexpensive, good quality counter top bins, Sydenham-based British Bins is a good port of call. Products are made in Italy from polypropylene, which is an easily recycled plastic. They also have sturdy larger bins in various colours which you can keep outside the back door to store your corn starch bags of food waste in until council collection day.

US brand OXO has a very attractive plastic counter top compost bin that's widely available in the UK; but you might like the idea of a ceramic one - Judge cookware makes a ceramic crock that comes with filters, and the Melbury ceramic crock, made in Devon, is attractive and available in a host of colours at online store All Green

 

Burgon & Ball's compost tin in lime green is very nice to look at. Line with their paper bags,  £18.95
stainless steel compost pails come in lots of colours. Eddingtons make them, £10.99 at www.primrose.co.uk
Recycled bamboo fibre compost caddy, £19.99, 4.5L, www.all-green.co.uk
Bamboo pail with removable inner lining, £31.60 at The Container Store
Melbury ceramic compost caddy, £34.99, made in Devon. www.all-green.co.uk
Ceramic pails with carbon filters by Judge Cookware

It is fairly obvious, but in case you are wondering how councils define food waste, according to Islington Council in north London, residents should save their peelings, coffee grinds, teabags, cooked and uncooked food scraps, natural corks, nuts, and egg shells.

If you have your own compost heap of your own, add everything (bar cooked food scraps), plus wood, ash, wool, linen, cotton, cardboard and the contents of your vacuum cleaner. And you can wee on it too should you feel so inclined.

But compost heap no-nos are: dog food, dog poo, soiled tissues, nappies, cigarette butts, coal ash and oil.

Mm, and on that note, may we wish you all a very happy year ahead of composting either for yourself or your local community.

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