Composting

What is Composting?

Composting is a natural process that utilises bacteria, fungi and worms to convert organic waste into compost under suitable conditions.

Organic waste is comes from materials that are derived from plants and animals, for example, vegetable / fruit peelings, tea bags, torn newspaper / cardboard and grass cuttings.

Why Participate in Home Composting?

Home composting probably represents the single most environmentally beneficial activity that you can engage in. The benefits of home composting are many and include the following:

  • Reduce by at least 33% the amount of waste going to landfill
  • Reduced waste disposal costs as less pay by use wheelie bin charges. 
  • Reduce odour from your wheelie bin
  • Help us reach national recycling and landfill diversion targets
  • Produce a usable end product that can be used as a soil conditioner
  • Help conserve our remaining peat lands

How do I start composting?

If you would like to start composting then we suggest you pay a visit to your local hardware store, co-op store or garden centre and check the range and sizes of composting bins available for you.

What can I Compost?

Compost is derived from the broken down matter from a mixture of both “green” and “brown” wastes.

What are these “green and brown wastes” that develop into compost?

“Green Wastes” are wastes that come from fresh plant materials such as kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps, green leaves, coffee grounds, tea bags and fresh horse manure.

“Brown Wastes” include dry and dead plant materials such as straw, dry brown weeds, autumn leaves, wood chips, sawdust, crushed eggshells, paper non-glossy and cardboard.

How do I go about Composting?

Segregate all your green and brown wastes and place then in alternate layers in your composting bin. It is essential to get a mix of greens and browns in your bin. This helps with the breakdown process and assures a more uniform texture in the final compost. It is also advisable to mix up contents in you bin once every two weeks to aerate the breaking down mass and speed up the process.

How long does it take for the wastes to break down into Compost?

The development time of the compost can vary depending on wastes composted, the ratio of green to brown wastes. Generally it takes about a year for a nice rich dark brown, crumbly textured compost to be produced. This time can be shortened by use of special bins and the addition of an accelerator to the decaying matter.

What wastes cannot be composted?

Cooked foods, Fats & Oils, dairy produce, & meats.

Quick Guide to Composting

  • Get a compost bin or create a compost heap in the garden.
  • Segregate green and brown wastes as described above.
  • Place green and brown wastes in alternative layers in compost bin /heap.
  • Mix / Aerate compost heap fortnightly to help process along.
  • Have patience and wait till mixture becomes dark , crumbly and uniform in texture.


Where to get your Home Composting Bins

Leitrim County Council encourage householders to contact their local hardware store or garden centre and check out their competitive prices on composting bins.

List of known suppliers of composting bins in County Leitrim:

South Leitrim Region

  • Kiltoghert Co-op, Kiltoghert, Carrick on Shannon . 071 9622113
  • Reynolds Hardware, Leitrim Road , Carrick-on-Shannon, 071 9622333
  • Quidsworth, Bridge Street , Carrick on Shannon 071 9621869
  • Reynolds Hardware, Glebe Street , Mohill, 071 9631083
  • Gerard Stenston Hardware, Mohill, 071 9631800
  • Ballinamore Farmers Ltd. (prev. Lakeside Dairies), 071 9644060
  • Four Seasons Flower Shop & Garden Centre, Ballinamore 071 9644210

North Leitrim Region

  • Killasnett Co-op, Manorhamilton, 071 9855006

N.B. (These are only some of the retail outlets in the county that stock compost bins, we will gladly make any changes to this list if we are notified of same.) E-mail:- environment@leitrimcoco.ie or phone 1890 205 205.

Information leaflets on composting are available from Leitrim County Council Environment Section.

Remember where the environment is concerned “Its Easy to Make a Difference”

For further information please contact our Lo-Call Environmental Hotline 1-890 205 205

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