Dont fall behind with composting this Autumn

Many of us are missing a trick if we don’t continue to home compost through the colder months. Adding more waste now will help the natural bacteria to thrive and keep the composting momentum going at a time when decomposition naturally slow down.

Home composting is easy all year round. Autumn and winter are great for gathering materials for composting. The wealth of carbon-rich matter will benefit your compost all year long. These carbon-rich drier materials provide substance to your heap which aids aeration to speed up the composting process, minimising odours and helping produce a light, fluffy finished compost.

Here are some seasonal tips to ensure we keep a good thing going:

  • Gather leaves - Leaves are one of the most valued compost materials because they are carbon-rich and small enough to be easily incorporated into the compost. Deciduous leaves are best; as opposed to evergreen leaves such as holly, laurel and conifers which just take ages to break down.
  • Collect the skeletons - from finished annuals like tomatoes and broccoli plants which will have died back now.  Do avoid composting any plants which have disease or mold problems though. In theory, the heat from the composting process will kill disease spores, but in practice not all domestic scale compost piles attain maximum heat potential.
  • Save wood ash - If you have a bonfire this autumn for dealing with excessive amounts of leaves and woody tree branches and prunings save the ashes and once they cool add them to the compost bin. A top tip is to sprinkle the ash onto compost to avoid clumping.  

For more information about how to get started with home composting including discounted home compost bins on special offer for Shropshire residents visit


James Thompson James Thompson

Waste Prevention Officer, Waste Management, Shropshire Council

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