Week 9 - Blog

Composting – the best way to dispose of waste

Composting – the best way to dispose of waste

As more and more people look to ways of lowering their waste bill and of reducing what they send to landfill, your compost bin provides a great solution. All you need is a little information and some tips on getting organized, and by the time you finish reading this article, we hope you’ll have both

Currently there are two ways of composting your waste in Sligo. The first involves asking your waste collection service for a free brown kerbside bin which you then use for food waste. This service is available to 18 areas in Sligo and you can refer to the Council website to see if your household is one of these areas.

The second is a garden composter which you can buy at any number of outlets locally and which, after the initial purchase should provide you with years of free disposal for certain types of kitchen waste.

Let’s start with the kerbside bin. This is typically the least expensive of your three bins you present for collection, usually a little less expensive than the recycling bin and certainly significantly less than the landfill one. The great news about this is that it will take ALL of your food waste. That’s right, from cooked and uncooked meats, bones, fruit and vegetables, coffee grinds, teabags, fish, pizza, even paper napkins and newspapers can be disposed of in this bin, along with things like compostable coffee cups.

The best way to get started is to buy a small kitchen compost caddy which you can leave beside the sink in your kitchen or wherever you generally prepare or dispose of your food. Line the caddy with either newspaper, or you can also buy a roll of compostable bags, which you can also put into your kerbside bin when full.

Into this bin you can put all your vegetable peelings and any discarded food as you prepare your meals, and once you’ve finished eating, absolutely all of the waste from your plates can be put into this bin. When you’re ready, caddy bag and all goes into your kerbside bin, simple as that.

If you decide to go for the garden composter – and many people use both – then you can generally pick one up at your local hardware store for around €20. Sligo County Council also have a stock of these from time to time.

You need to be slightly more selective when using your garden composter as you want to avoid putting meat or dairy products into it to avoid attracting vermin. But you can put all of your uncooked fruit and vegetables into it, and over time it will quickly break down, especially if you mix it with garden waste like grass cuttings. Stick a garden fork into it from time to time and move the contents around to help the breakdown process. Once it breaks down completely, usually after a number of months, you will be able to remove the compost through a lower hatch located at the front of the bin, and this can be used to help new plants along. A really great way to help new growth and it costs you nothing only a little effort.

A couple of additional tips. If, for example, you have a small garden and don’t have room or need a garden composter, you can also put your garden waste into your kerbside bin. If you have a large garden and too much waste for your bin, you can also bring this to the organic composting facility in Ballisodare, where they will take this waste for a small charge.

Finally, we as Autumn arrives, many of us will decide to tidy up our gardens before the evenings draw in. This is a great time to get yourself a garden composter. Once you fill it with garden waste, give it a turn once or twice over the coming months and before you know it, once Spring arrives and you want to get planting again, you should have a ready made pile of compost ready to help your garden grow.

For more tips on composting at home, and to view a short video, visit www.sligococo.ie/greenaware.