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Make the most of falling leaves and get composting

As the nights draw in and there is a distinct chill in the air, it appears that autumn is upon us.

Met Office figures show that 2013 was the hottest summer since 2006 and those higher than average temperatures along with the occasional heavy downpour, has encouraged plant growth across the county, creating an abundance of garden waste.

This autumn, instead of having mountains of leaves blowing everywhere or starting up a smoky bonfire which pollutes the atmosphere, why not go for the more environmentally friendly option of disposing of this waste by composting it at home?  Simply throw your autumnal waste into a compost bin and over the winter it will rot down to produce a free supply of nutrient rich compost.

Fallen leaves, pruning’s, dead plants and flowers are great material to feed a compost bin and nature makes sure they are in plentiful supply.  A good tip is to use a lawnmower to shred and collect your leaves, as this helps speed up the composting process.

The secret of great compost is a good mix of organic materials, as you don’t want too much of any one material.  If you have too many leaves for your compost bin, why not put the excess into a bin bag, make a few holes in it and leave it in a secluded spot to rot down.  It will take slightly longer but the end result will be leaf mould, a fine product that can be used in place of peat as potting compost for container plants.

Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for major projects, said: “Home composting provides an effective and sustainable way of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.  If you start composting now, by spring next year you will have a nutritious soil conditioner that will enrich your planting and help to produce an array of flowers, fruit and vegetables.  Herefordshire Council subside the cost of compost bins, so it’s really easy to start composting."

There are different compost bins available in Herefordshire, starting from just £8 with £5 delivery, which is less than half the recommended retail price.  There is also a buy one, get one half price offer available, along with a 30 day money back guarantee.

To find out more about composting and what’s available in your local area, simply call 0844 571 4444 or visit www.letswasteless.com.