Community composting is a great solution for people with little or no outside space. It is where a communal compost station is built within easy access to local residents. Residents subscribe to use their local compost and get a kitchen caddy to take their food waste to the compost.
As part of the community compost set-up, Compost Works recruits one or two volunteers from the local community to act as Compost Champions. The Compost Champions are responsible for forking the compost monthly and for making sure everything is working well. We provide ongoing support to the Compost Champions.
Be a Compost Champion!
The scheme starts with a wooden compost bin with a lid. The food waste in the compost is processed by compost worms. When the first bin becomes full, we lock it to allow the contents to break down, and build a second bin for members to use. When this is full, we build a third. By the time the third bin is full, the first one is usually ready to be used and emptied. Compost Champions keep an eye on the compost bins and report any issues to Compost Works.
Each community compost is a closed scheme, open only to people from the local community who have signed up and received advice and information on composting. The compost bins are secured with code padlocks and only members are given the code. This helps ensure only the right materials are being put in the bins and reduces vandalism. Members also receive a free kitchen caddy for transporting their food waste to the compost bins.
Compost Works will give members plenty of advice and information on composting. Being part of a community compost scheme is a great way of connecting with and getting to know your neighbours and members of your community, whilst doing something beneficial for our environment. You might even come up with communal growing activities with the compost you have produced!
Are you interested in a community compost near you? Get in touch with us!
FAQ—Frequently Asked Questions
Compost is essentially broken-down food waste, so there is the potential for unpleasant odours. However, in a well-managed scheme, with a good balance of wet and dry contents that are turned regularly, smells are kept to a minimum and are rarely an issue when the lids are closed.
If you have any concerns over smells in your community compost, contact your compost champion in the first instance, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org stating the location of your compost.
Tiny fruit flies are common in compost bins in the summer, especially if you are adding a lot of fruit and vegetable peelings. This can increase during the hotter months but you can manage this by adding dry materials, such as ripped up cardboard and paper, to the boxes. The fruit flies are rarely noticeable until the lid is opened. Turning the compost so fruit and vegetables are buried will also help. The flies are not dangerous to human health.
Many people are concerned about rats. Our bins are reinforced with weld mesh, which makes it nigh impossible for rats to get in. Rats are also attracted to cooked food, which is why we only accept raw fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds in the bins. No cooked food, meat, fish or dairy is to be put in. If you have any concerns over rats in your compost, or if the compost is damaged so rats could get in, contact us immediately at email@example.com.
The average box takes about 9-12 months to produce compost. Members are encouraged to take some of the compost or share it with other scheme members. If there is spare compost, we will distribute it to local gardening projects.
You can spread the compost on the earth and lightly mix it in before you start growing vegetables or where you want to plant new flowers. Plants already in your garden will also appreciate having some compost in the spring, particularly if the soil isn’t very good. For members without gardens, plants in your yard or indoors love a top-up of fresh compost every now and then.