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How to Recycle Garden Waste

There’s no such thing as garden waste, with a bit of ingenuity, everything can go round again

Alan Titchmarsh

/professional gardener and gardening journalist/

Composts of green wasteIn the past, our ancestors would throw the clippings and prunings in a bonfire. In the era of environmental challenges however, we should take another approach. There are eco-friendly and neighbour-friendly approaches to garden waste disposal we will gladly share with you.

Compost Heaps or Bins

Soft hedge clippings, old bedding plants, annual weeds, lawn mowings and the like can be found in every garden. Instead of looking at those as a green waste you can adopt an alternative perspective and see them as a free soil-improver. The best way to do that is đ░ compost heap or bin.

Furthermore, adding fallen leaves and kitchen waste (e.g. vegetable peeling) to the mix is a great idea. Be prudent, refrain from adding food waste or meat because they attract pests and scavengers.

Start by making layers - about six inches high. In between the layers, add a bit of soil or manure (fresh manure is best). When you have managed to fill up your compost bin or heap with garden waste layers, cover it with a lid. In case you don’t have a lid, a piece of old carpet will also do.

Recycling green waste takes from six months to a year. Just like in bakery, the best way to assess whether it’s done or not is by looking - when all the ingredients have rotten down, looking like fibrous soil.

The fine quality compost made from garden waste can be used for preparing new beds; when putting in new plants and digging over the veg patch.

Vermicomposting

It is a process of using different kinds of worms for the purpose of composting.

You are going to need a worm bin. That is a small container, purposed to house worms. The container can be bought or you can reuse an old plastic, wooden, styrofoam or metal one adapted for this task.

The worms should be fed regularly with kitchen scraps, leafy waste and shredded paper, all spread in thin layers. Wooden material and meat should be avoided.

These worms are not the same as common earthworms. They posses the power to digest the garden waste and to convert it into rich compost.

Don’t worry it will be obvious when it’s ready.

You definitely won’t regret doing that when you observe the results from adding the final product to big plant tubs and veg beds. And the liquid obtained in the process is amazing natural plant nutrition.

It’s possible that you either don’t have enough space for a compost heap, or you produce more green waste than you can cope with. In this case, you can use the green bin scheme of the local council. What’s that? That is a bin, dedicated to green and appropriate food waste provided by most local authorities. Yes, you won’t have to take the garden waste to a recycling facility yourself, but you may have to pay a fee for the bin and the benefit from the compost will be wasted.

Alternatively you could take your garden waste to the local council recycling site, known as the tip. Most of these sites operate on Saturdays and Sundays and will take your green waste, but you may have to pay a fee and you should separate the different types of waste beforehand.

The above mentioned suggestions are time consuming while the benefit for you is virtually nonexistent, so consider a third option: Call Tom’s Garden Clearance Service and we will take care of everything, leaving you with more time to enjoy the pleasant gardening activities. That way, you won’t have to deal with separation of the waste, loading it in a truck (if you have one) and taking them to a recycling facility.

Refuse or Re-use

Think before disposing of anything, because even if you do it in the greenest way possible, re-using is greener.

Example: Dried out twigs and dropped prunings are great for lightening a wood burner or barbecue. Old plastic sacks are ideal for collecting manure or taking your garden waste to the tip after cutting up the lining for hanging baskets.

Alternative to getting rid of the surplus patio slabs, unwanted plants or a shed or a greenhouse, that you are taking down is finding an eager new owner through the internet. The best part: the recipient collects.

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