The importance of your brown bin
People have been composting for centuries, but the waste culture of the twentieth century saw tonnes of compostable waste go to landfill. Now brown bins are occupying spaces in homes across the country and they are becoming increasingly important in the fightback against waste. When used properly your brown bin can help reduce your waste-to-landfill volume and your carbon footprint.
What is your brown bin for?
Your brown bin is for the following waste types; Garden Waste, Food Waste & Selected Papers. When disposing of each waste type, only wrap them in biodegradable bags, as other plastics will hinder the decomposition process.
Excluding furniture and tools most garden waste can be disposed of in a brown bin. From cut grass, hedge trimmings and dead plants to sawdust and wood chippings, the brown bin can take nearly all the natural waste. Even bedding your pets use and certain litter tray fillers can also be used for composting.
Raw and cooked meats, including bones and scraps, can be brown binned as well as fruit and veg waste. Breads, pastas and rice are all acceptable, as are tea bags and coffee leftovers.
Certain papers are welcome in your brown bin, however across the UK you may be asked to put this rubbish into your blue bin. Your local council’s website will usually have instructions. In areas like the Mourne and Newry council, companies like ReGen collect and transform papers into Processed Output Materials, making them ready for a new purpose.
Recycled papers are plain paper, certain cardboards (egg boxes) and soiled papers such as kitchen roll. Again, ensure that non-compostable materials like Sellotape, staples and laminated papers are removed. For more information on what can and can’t go in the bin, check out this helpful video from Recycle Now. Much of the same advice for your brown bin also applies to composting - something that is easy to do at home and great if you have a garden or even just some plants.
As mentioned, more composting means less landfill, waste burning and pollution. Your garden will benefit no end from this homemade fertilizer, especially because it doesn’t contain many of the artificial elements of other composts.
Why your brown bin makes a difference
You know that your brown bin is taken away but do you know where it goes next? Across the UK and Ireland, councils have giveaway days when compost is passed on to people after it has been processed. East Riding council in England, gave away as much as 5,000 bags of compost last May!
Food waste is also one of the biggest emitters of methane gas, so at landfill food is allowed to rot and pollute the local environment. For more info on better recycling habits, you’ll enjoy this read on why recycling matters.