This week is International Compost Awareness Week, so we are encouraging Derby residents to try home composting as a way to reduce household waste.

Composting is a simple, organic way to create rich and nutritious soil for use in your garden. You can put a combination of food, garden and certain other household waste into a compost bin, resulting in compost that can give new life to your flowerbeds and veggie patches.

Free bins for schools and community groups

A mix of materials for composting

We appreciate that you might not want to pay for a bin if you’re not sure how much you’re going to use it. This is why we offer free compost bins to schools and community groups so as many people as possible can give composting a try.

If you belong to a voluntary organisation (such as Guides, Scouts or the Women’s Institute), or a school located within Derby City Council’s boundaries, get in touch with our team to ask about free compost bins. Please note, we offer a maximum of four bins to each group.

How does composting work?

Composting is the process of breaking down a mixture of materials over time to make compost: a soil-like substance which is used in gardening and agriculture.

The different materials release a variety of chemicals, which work together with insects and microorganisms to produce your compost.

The best compost mixture is made from a balance of ‘brown’ and ‘green’ waste:

Brown waste:

Paper (including shredded)
Wood chippings
Dead leaves
Nut shells

Green waste:

Grass clippings
Vegetable kitchen waste
Tea leaves
Coffee grounds
Cut flowers
Dry hay
Annual weeds

If just over half of the mixture is brown waste, this will create the right balance of chemicals.

You can find a list of materials that definitely shouldn’t go in a compost bin on our website.

Where can I buy a compost bin?

Visit the Go Composting website to see their full range of compost bins, which are made using recycled plastic. There are a variety of styles to suit gardens both big and small.

You can find more information about composting on our website.