Garden waste mythbuster

Myth: There's no point in recycling garden waste, it just gets landfilled. 

Yes there is! Garden waste collected at the kerbside goes to a composting site where it is turned into a nutritious soil conditioner to PAS100 quality.

This increases the nutrients and improves a soils structure to help plants grow.

This can be used for agriculture, land reclamation and as an ingredient in some multipurpose composts you can buy at a garden centre.

Myth: The council sells the compost produced from the garden waste service to make money.

Following the collection of your garden waste, it is composted by Wight Reclamation at the Staden Heath windrow composting site. Green waste taken to the Recycling Centres is also composted here.

This company then turns your garden waste into compost.

Myth: Turning garden waste into compost is a different process to how I compost at home

When the garden waste arrives at the composting site any material that is not compostable is removed. The remaining waste is then shredded and then laid out in a long pile to decompose, usually in the open air.

The process at a composting site is like what happens in your home compost bin. It is actively managed to speed up the process. Due to the amount of material the temperature reached is a lot higher than in a normal household compost bin. Temperatures can reach up to 60°C.

At higher temperatures, enzymes and bacteria work quickly, resulting in finished compost in a few weeks.

The material is turned often to give much needed oxygen to microorganisms that help decompose the material. High temperatures kill off any harmful microbes, weeds, and plant diseases.

The final part of the process screens the compost to remove any remaining contaminants.

The whole process takes between eight and 16 weeks, depending on the final use for the compost.

Myth: I can put any garden waste out for collection, such as plastic and small stones

 Most types of garden waste can be recycled. This includes bark, flowers, grass and hedge cuttings, leaves, plants, small branches, twigs, and weeds.

Plastics and small stones can contaminate the final compost produced. Not placing them in the garden waste bin/reusable sack makes a better quality compost.

Myth: Green waste can go in the black bins

Do not put garden waste or food waste into the general waste bins or reusable sacks.

Food waste is collected weekly from your food caddy, if you are missing one, request a new one for free.

Your garden waste can be:

  • composted at home
  • taken to either Afton Marsh or Lynnbottom Recycling Centre for free
  • collected by the council
  • collected by a private waste carrier.