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Home Composter

Home composter image

Home Composters can be purchased from the Council at a cost of £9.99 which includes delivery (delivery timescale is within two weeks). If you do not currently have the option of a full brown bin service you are entitled to one free home composter from the council. For more information contact a member of the customer services team on 028 9446 3113.

What can I put in the compost bin?

Like any recipe, your compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work. Good things you can compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. These are considered “Greens.” Greens are quick to rot and they provide important nitrogen and moisture. Other things you can compost include cardboard egg boxes, scrunched up paper and fallen leaves. These are considered “Browns” and are slower to rot. They provide fibre and carbon and also allow important air pockets to form in the mixture. Crushed eggshells can be included to add useful minerals.

Yes   No
Vegetable Peelings / Egg Shells   Cooked Vegetables / Bread / Meat Scraps / Bones
Fruit Scraps   Materials Infected with Persistant Diseases e.g. Potato Blight 
Tea Bags/leaves and Coffee Grounds   Pernicious Weeds e.g.Bind Weed / Weeds with Seed heads
Grass Cuttings   Large Unchopped Woody Branches
Finely Chopped or Shredded Shrub Prunnings   Cat or Dog Litter
Most Garden Weeds    
Straw and Hay     
Are there any things I should take care not to put in?

Certain things should never be placed in your bin. No cooked vegetables, no meat, no dairy products, no diseased plants, and definitely no dog poo or cat litter, or baby’s nappies. Putting these in your bin can encourage unwanted pests and can also create odour. Also avoid composting perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistle) or weeds with seed heads. Remember that plastics, glass and metals are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately.

My compost is too wet/dry is there anything I can do to control moisture and ensure a good mix?

The key to good compost lies in getting the mix right. You need to keep your Greens and Browns properly balanced. If your compost is too wet, add more Browns. If it’s too dry, add some Greens. Making sure there is enough air in the mixture is also important. Adding scrunched up bits of cardboard is a simple way to create air pockets that will help keep your compost healthy. Air can also be added by mixing the contents. After approximately 6-9 months your finished compost will be ready.

Where should I place my compost bin?

It’s best to site your bin on a level, well drained spot. This allows excess water to drain out and makes it easier for helpful creatures such as worms to get in and get working on breaking down the contents. Placing your bin in a partially sunny spot can help speed up the composting process.

How will I know when my compost is ready to use?

Finished compost is a dark brown, almost black soil-like layer that you’ll find at the bottom of your bin. It has a spongy texture and is rich in nutrients. Some bins have a small hatch at the bottom that you can remove to get at the finished product, but sometimes it’s even easier to lift the bin or to tip it over to get at your compost. Spreading the finished compost into your flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and suppressing weeds. Composting is the easiest way to make your garden grow more beautiful.


What should I do with the things which cannot be put into the home composter? Are there any alternatives to using this type of compost bin?

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council also offer a kerbside Collection of food waste and garden waste through the brown bin and food bin service which turns food and garden waste into useful compost. All types of food waste, with the exception of liquids and oils, can go into the brown bin and a free kitchen caddy and compostable liners supplied by the Council to make the service easy to use.

Wormeries are a popular alternative to home composting whereby worms digest kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetables peelings and a small amount of paper and cardboard. As with the home composter, there are certain types of food you cannot put into your wormery, but you can place litchen waste that can't go in to your food bin or brown bin from the council.

There are also a range of other alternatives to the home compost bins the council provide on the market. There are different types of digesters such as a Bokashi Bin, Green Cone System for digesting food waste or a Green Johanna or 'hot' composter for both your food and garden waste which you can purchase as alternatives.


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Contact Details

Antrim Civic Centre
50 Stiles Way
BT41 2UB
Tel: 028 9446 3113

Mossley Mill
BT36 5QA
Tel: 028 9034 0000

[email protected]