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Composting and Green Waste


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#1 jamesl

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 10:16 AM

I have just joined this scehme and think it's an excellent , but poorly publicised , idea so I thought VN members living in Lambeth might want to know about it

http://www.lambeth.g...GardenWaste.htm

#2 HeadGardener

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 03:17 PM

I agree it's a good scheme but Lambeth could make it much easier to take part and that might encourage more people to sign up. If they just said (for example) that there would be a collection from your street every alternate Tuesday it would save all the faffing about to make an appointment to get your green waste collected. After all, we don't need to make an appointment to get our paper and cans collected, it just happens as a matter of routine.

Anyway, that's a minor gripe and three cheers to Lambeth for having any sort of collection scheme, as it's far preferable to having to drive it all down to the Vale Street depot and much more eco-friendly.

:D

#3 RachelF

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 04:39 PM

I am glad they are introducing reusable bags. The biogdegradable ones are useless for anything other than weeds, which I tend to compost anyway if they are not particularly pernicious ones.
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#4 James

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 12:13 AM

Interesting new web site at http://ecolocal.co.uk/

"Green news and views in the UK"

There isn't an entry for the Crystal Palace area (yet) but I'm sure one of our members will do the honours ;)

European.vote - EU Referendum


#5 gekko

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 02:21 PM

Someone has mentioned VN though!

Ecological - Virtual Norwood

Edited by gekko, 25 June 2006 - 02:23 PM.

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#6 Agent Orange

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:58 PM

Hello,
We've moved into our flat last week and there is a big green composting bin in the garden, and I want to learn how to use it properly. I understand roughly what can/cannot be composted from looking around various websites (no meat/dairy/pasta/bread etc, anything that rats might like).
What I'd like to know is how I start composting. Is there an order to put things in? A layer of this, a layer of that? I gather it's not very helpful to just chuck everything in and hope for the best, but don't know what to put in? Do I need to find some worms to throw in too? Or will they find their own way? Or am I confusing a compost bin with a wormery? And how do I know when the compost is 'done'?
If anyone knows a link to a good dummies guide to composting, I'd be grateful.

#7 iclipper

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:48 PM

we started one this summer and it seems to be going ok - except for a mass of flies which have taken up residence in the top - Is this normal?

#8 Agent Orange

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:53 PM

we started one this summer and it seems to be going ok - except for a mass of flies which have taken up residence in the top - Is this normal?


From what I've read, and as you can see I'm a complete novice, flies are more likely to be attracted if you've put in meat, bread, pasta, rice, eggs or dairy. If you've just put in uncooked vegetation (fruit & veg peel, grass cuttings, garden waste) I think you will have less problem with flies. But then again, I could be completely wrong! :blink:

#9 HeadGardener

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:42 PM

I think it all depends what type of flies they are! Big, bluebottle-type flies are most likely to be attracted by cooked food , which (as you say) shouldn't be put into compost bins because it'll attract rats. But the handbook which came with my worm composter says that fruit flies - the very small ones - are to be expected and are not a problem.

My composting knowledge is more theory than practice because I haven't had the worm composter very long (and managed to kill the first batch of worms by mismanagement) and have never dug out the other composter - I just throw new stuff in whenever the contents have shrunk enough to make more space. But what I gather is that composting will be quicker if the compost is warm and damp (but not soggy); it's best to have layers of green waste and drier material (eg shredded cardboard); grass clippings should only be put in a little at a time, as otherwise they turn to slime and destroy the chemistry of the heap; and the compost should be turned and aerated from time to time (for dalek-style composters which can't easily be forked over, you can buy gadgets to do this). The compost is ready when it's brown, crumbly and sweet-smelling.

As long as the composter is standing on soil rather than compost, worms will make their own way in (although you don't really need worms in a compost heap as it's all about chemistry and decay).

I don't know of any composting website, but you could try Garden Organic, the Royal Horticultural Society or the Soil Association.

Good luck! :D

#10 Agent Orange

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:53 PM

Cheers HD.
Drosophila melanogaster. Takes me back to my Genetics BSc days. Oh the romance of the Science faculty; cross-breeding insects to observe inherited traits. No really, it was very glamourous :)

#11 Knights Hiller

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:46 PM

You can also get a special composting accelerant powder to help the decomposition process. I bought some the other day in B&Q for about £3 for 3-4kg which should last a year. According to my father, it's excellent and really speeds up the process.

#12 RachelF

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:13 PM

erm I have heard it said that human pee is a good accelorator... However you shouldn't expect much to happen at this time of year. Too cold.

If you are putting a lot of kitchen scraps in, it might be a good idea to occasionally put some paper in to stop things getting too soggy. I put egg boxes used kitchen paper (that's just been used to clean up scraps) or kitchen paper carboard rolls in from time to time.

I don't put cooked stuff in my compost bin, but I have still occasionally been surprised to find a little field mouse sitting on the top. (Well surprise isn't quite the right word...)
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#13 gekko

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:17 PM

Apparently only male pee is good for composting though as there's something present in it that isn't there in female urine!
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#14 RachelF

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:58 PM

I am glad I didn't bother then! (The logistics put me off anyhow!)
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#15 Bosie

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 05:22 PM

Apparently only male pee is good for composting though as there's something present in it that isn't there in female urine!



So beer should work too then? ;)
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