It’s Time to Talk About Garden Waste
As spring draws near and the weather slowly begins to warm up, many avid gardeners will be stepping outside to clean up winter debris and prepare their flowerbeds for sunshine. As they cut grass or weed the garden, they’ll produce something called garden waste.
What is Garden Waste?
Garden waste, or green waste, is the waste produced through the care and maintenance of a garden or lawn. 14% of an average household’s trash is garden waste. This waste is unique from other household trash in that it can be reused and transformed into compost right at home. Most garden waste falls into one of the following categories:
- Branches or twigs
- Grass cuttings
- Bark and leaves
- Sawdust or straw
- Hedge prunings
Bear in mind that you should never throw cardboard, compost, soil, rubble, or food into your garden waste sack. As the waste will be transformed into compost, either by your local authority or in your home composter, it’s important to make sure that the items included in the waste do not contain anything harmful that could be passed along to your plants and, by extension, to you.
What Can Garden Waste Be Used For?
Once the garden waste has broken down into compost, it can be returned to the garden as compost for existing plants. If you’re not actively cultivating plants at present, the waste can instead be used as mulch, a general-purpose soil improver, or turf dressing.
How Should I Collect Garden Waste?
If you have a home composting bin, your garden waste can be placed directly inside. If you are preparing your garden waste for collection by local authorities, you’ll need a special container. Garden waste sacks are large, brown paper sacks, designed specifically for the collection of green waste. They’re tear-resistant, helping you avoid surprise messes caused by sharp thorns or branches, but they’re also 100% biodegradable, which means that they can be included in the composting process.
As you go about your normal gardening tasks, simply deposit your garden waste into one of these paper sacks. The wide block bottom means that the sacks will sit upright, like a regular trash bin, which makes them easy to fill. When your garden waste sack is full, place it at the kerb for retrieval by your local waste collector.
How Do I Begin Composting at Home?
If you produce a lot of garden waste on a regular basis, you’ll want to select a semi-permanent location to allow it to compost. Look for a spot that isn’t against any other buildings, and make sure that the base is composed of either soil or gravel to allow for drainage in wet weather.
Your composting container should be constructed to allow the maximum amount of airflow, as this will aid in the breakdown of the organic materials. Wood and chicken wire is a particularly effective combination. As mentioned before, keep household food out of your garden waste compost. Neighbourhood critters and scavengers will be all too happy to burrow into your compost bin to obtain tasty kitchen scraps.
If you’re starting your composting from scratch, cut up branches from your garden waste and place these into the bottom of the bin first. A layer of branches will encourage airflow at the base of your bin, helping accelerate decomposition. As the waste decomposes, you’ll want to give it an occasional turn with a shovel or garden hoe to help introduce more oxygen into the process.
If you prepare your compost bin now, in early spring, your first batch of garden-ready compost should be ready for use by late summer.
Ordering a Garden Waste Sack
Garden waste sacks are provided in bundles of 50, which means that the average household will likely only have to order once or twice a year. For businesses, parks, or other environments with a higher level of garden waste production, a larger quantity of paper sacks can be arranged. A single sack can hold up to 75 litres of garden waste.
For more information on how to acquire paper or garden waste sacks, call our office at 01634-838-540. We also accept online inquiries, and a member of our team will respond to you no later than the first hour of the next business day.