Garden waste – home composting and more

Make the most of garden waste, keep it out of your rubbish bin and check your options to grow your own


Turn your garden waste into compost, transforming your unwanted garden waste, vegetable peelings and non-cooked kitchen waste into a free, nutritious material that puts the goodness back into your garden.

If you home compost you could:

  • Save money – good compost can make excellent soil conditioner; saving time, money and effort
  • Improve your environment – the more you compost the less you send to landfill
  • Improve your garden – compost puts nutrition back into the soil, improving your garden or allotment

You do not even need a compost bin to make compost. You can compost in situ to add nutrients directly back to your soil in compost trenches or pits. Check out this video from the Royal Horticultural Society – making compost. More RHS compost advice here. Inspire younger gardeners with Composting for kids with Peppa Pig or with Science Spark’s making a home-made wormery so your children can watch the worms in action.

A compost bin works well if you put in a mixture of organic materials, balancing the green (nitrogen-rich) with the brown (carbon-rich) and using garden waste, suitable foods – from veg peelings to apple cores, coffee grounds to tea leaves – and other materials, from herbivore animal manure to wood ash, torn card to wool. Check if you are getting the right mix for your compost and if not, how to get better results.

For practical advice on setting up and using compost bins, as well as the answers to some frequency asked questions, please visit the Recycle Now home composting pages or the Royal Horticultural Society website.

Making your own compost at home is one of the best ways to manage your garden waste. It adds nutrients to the soil and improves the soil structure. You do not need a special bin or a large area and you can start a compost heap anywhere in your garden.

Leave your lawn
If you can, reduce how often you mow the lawn. Let the grass grow for a while to create a mini meadow in your garden, which small creatures will love. Wildflowers already in your lawn will grab their opportunity to bloom and the longer grass will create a sheltered environment for insects, encouraging more birds to visit. Why your should  give your mower a rest: PS: If you have a mulching mower, make the switch to grasscycling by putting the cuttings straight back as you cut.

Do more with mulch
Mulch is a layer of material, such as grass cuttings, which helps to retain moisture in the soil, improving soil fertility and health as well as reducing weed growth. Why mulch? 20 reasons: 

Easy edibles
Switch from mowing to growing so you need less shopping trips. Great ideas here: And April advice from the Royal Horticultural Society:

If you are cutting back trees and bushes, use the branches as supports for other plants.

PS: Please be a considerate neighbour and avoid garden bonfires if possible.

To help get you started with home composting, we work with to offer residents home compost bins and other equipment at reduced prices.

Somerset Waste Partnership is providing a further subsidy for one thousand compost bins to offer you a great price to help you manage your garden waste during the pandemic.

Special offer compost bins

  • 220 litre bin just £10.00 plus p&p
  • 330 litre bin from £12.50 plus p&p

Delivery costs £9.99 per order.

Also you can ‘buy one get one half price’ for online orders (phone orders are temporarily suspended owing to the pandemic). Why not team up with a neighbour and split the cost of delivery too? See for details.

This offer is valid for the first 1000 compost converters sold to Somerset residents or to 31 March 2021, whichever is soonest.

You can buy online here. Through the offer website you can also buy kitchen composters, a wormery, composting accessories and water butts.

Currently delivery can take up to 28 days, however this may increase if demand for deliveries continues to grow during the pandemic.

In the current situation it is not possible to order your compost bin by phone on 0844 571 4444 as call staff are working from home and cannot access this phoneline. We will update this information from our suppliers as the situation changes. Please note, the standard cost from a BT landline is 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Other providers may charge more.

Compost bins are made from 100% recycled plastic and are guaranteed for 7 years.

Somerset has a team of Compost Champions, volunteers from the community who kindly give up their spare time to attend community events, give talks and promote composting in any way that occurs to them!

Almost a third of the waste produced from Somerset’s households could be home composted – transforming food and garden waste into a great free fertiliser.

The Champions share their experience and skills to help residents to compost more of this waste, helping to reduce waste to landfill and save money. They have access to a range of resources and display materials to help them bring the message to life.

If you would like to invite a Compost Champion to attend your community event or know more about the scheme, please email quoting Compost Champions in the subject line or call 01823 625700.

Which compost bin is right for you? To help you decide Carymoor Environmental Trust working with the Compost Champions have set up a number of compost demonstration areas, each of which is equipped with a number of different working compost bins. The demonstration bins are located in working community spaces and are used by local people to process garden waste generated at each site.

So far, we have demonstration bins set up at these locations:

  • The Community Garden, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells
  • Birchill Allotments, Frome
  • Eat Cary Community Garden, Castle Cary