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Home Composting


Home composting is a cheap and easy way of providing your garden with an environmentally friendly garden conditioner. Compost is a crumbly, brown, soil-like material, which forms when organic matter decomposes. Adding compost to your soil will improve its structure and help it retain water when it is dry, both of which are vital for plants to grow.  For more ideas about how to minimise your waste visit our reduce and reuse page.



Types of Home Composters:

Click the links to find out more...

1.  Standard Composters- for uncooked fruit and vegetables and garden waste.

2.  Bokashi Kitchen Composters- for all cooked and uncooked kitchen waste.

3.  Wormeries- For most cooked and uncooked food and garden waste

4.  Make Your Own!



Special Composting Offers!

For those interested in home composting, now is the perfect time to get started. Through Bedford Borough Council, householders can purchase home compost bins at subsidised prices.

We also have water butts, wormeries, a range of composters and composting accessories available for purchase.  Ordering couldn't be easier, either call the company direct on 0844 571 4444 or browse the offers available online (enter your postcode to see local offers) at:



Standard Composter

DO compost

DON'T compost

Uncooked fruit & veg peelings Meat or dairy products
Grass cuttings  Fat or bones
Tea bags & coffee grounds Cooked Vegetables
Autumn leaves Bread
Most garden weeds Cat/dog litter
Soft pruning & clippings Food waste 
Eggshells Coal
Wood shavings Ash
Finely cut hedge clippings   Products soiled with oil  
Pure wool jumpers   Metal, glass or plastic
Hair & fur Nappies
Bedding from vegetarian pets e.g. rabbits   Tough woody materials
Clean shredded paper    

Download the guide to composting at home.



compost bin




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Bokashi Kitchen Composter


Download the instruction leaflet

  Bokashi Bin
  Dimensions - 32cm (w) x 25cm (d) x 37cm (h)

Allows 100% home composting by tackling elements of organic waste that cannot be put into a traditional composter including meat, dairy and cooked foods. 

Only suitable for those with a compost bin, allotment or garden to complete the process.


1.  Add food waste and bran to first bucket until it is full.

2.  Set it aside for 2 weeks.

3.  After this, add 'pickled' contents to your standard composter or dig it into the garden where it will turn into compost in 4-6 weeks

4. Meanwhile continue filling the second bucket.


Download the comprehensive 'How To Guide' which includes answers to frequently asked questions.


In July 2012 a two month trial was carried out with 30 residents.  They were asked to complete diaries to help monitor their progress and the effectiveness of the system.  Read the full report

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Wormeries are relatively small and contained units which create compost and liquid fertiliser using worms. They can be kept outside, in a shed, garage or even a balcony. They can be used all year round and take cook and uncooked food waste:

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Fruit and veg (except onions and citrus)
  • Garden waste
  • Paper and cardboard


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Make your own compost bin

CompostYou can make your own composting bin from wire mesh, wood, old pallets, bricks, breeze blocks, PVC panels, old packing cases, chicken wire or stacks of used tyres. The bin you make will work better if it has a lid or cover, and no gaps in the sides. Position the bin on bare earth and if possible provide simple drainage with some woody pruning or large stones. Three possible construction methods are listed below:


1. Build using 1 metre wooden planks. Build up the sides using approximately 7-8 planks, nailed firmly using deep nails into four corner posts. Leave one side open, in which you should slot planks in place to maintain easy access. If you make two bins, stand them side by side, so that one wall will be shared saving on wood and heat. Keep the box(es) covered with either an old carpet or tough polythene.


2. Staple chicken wire (wire mesh) around four posts, and line with sections of old carpet. For a lid, use another section of carpet.


3. If you can find four wooden pallets they will make a quick and easy composting bin. Use one pallet for each side, tacking tough polythene onto the inside of each. Fasten the four pallets together and use a piece of carpet or sheet of plastic to cover.

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If you have any general composting queries please contact the Recycle Now scheme.

Alternatively you can contact the Recycling Team by emailing us at: recycling@bedford.gov.uk.

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Here you will find information on environmental and planning issues. This section provides a wealth of information including details on how to make or enquire about a planning application, rubbish, waste and recycling information.


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