What to compost

Do compost:

Don't compost:

Different types of rubbish compost at different rates. Some items rot quickly and therefore can be used as activators to get the composting process started. However, if left on their own they will rot too quickly, leaving a decaying mess.
Other materials are slower to rot, which makes them useful for making the body of the compost pile. However, without the "hotter" activators, these materials would take a good long time to decompose.

So, to get the most out of your compost, a mix of 'hot' and 'cold' materials is most effective.

'Hot-rotting', fast burning activators include: comfrey leaves, young weeds, grass cuttings, chicken and pigeon manure.

'Cold-rotting', slow-cookers include: autumn leaves, tough hedge clippings, woody prunings, sawdust and wood shavings.

It is also a good idea to make sure you have a good mix of carbon to nitrogen waste (browns to greens):

Brown materials are high in carbon. Examples: dried flowers, woody stems and cardboard.

Green materials are high in nitrogen. Examples: fresh grass cuttings and kitchen waste.

Benefits of composting

How to compost and other general tips

For more tips on composting your garden waste, see

The information on this page was gathered from the following sources:
South Oxfordshire District Council: 1, 2, Garden Organic: 1, 2, The Composting Association: 1