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    Autumn, with its rich tapestry of colours and cooler temperatures, is a golden period for gardeners and composting enthusiasts. As leaves tumble and summer’s bounty finishes, there’s a wealth of materials ready to be transformed into black gold for next year’s garden.

    The team at Waste Wise specialise in commercial composting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a composting pro at home too! Here are our top tips on layering your compost bin with the best offerings of the season.

    Start with a Base of Twigs and Branches

    Begin your autumn compost pile with a 6-inch layer of twigs, small branches, or straw at the bottom. This coarse material aids in aeration, preventing the compost from becoming too compacted or waterlogged.

    Add a Layer of Fallen Leaves

    Autumn is synonymous with falling leaves. Gather leaves like oak, ash, or beech, and shred them if possible, to speed up decomposition. Layering these carbon-rich leaves provides the foundation for your compost pile.

    Incorporate Green Matter

    Sprinkle in fresh grass clippings, spent annuals, and vegetable garden remnants. These nitrogen-rich materials help balance the carbon from the leaves and accelerate the composting process.

    Fruit and Veggie Scraps from the Kitchen

    Autumn harvest might mean you’re processing a lot of fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to add peels, cores, and other scraps to the pile. They’re an excellent source of nutrients.

    Enhance with Natural Boosters

    A sprinkle of garden soil or finished compost acts as an inoculant, introducing beneficial microbes. Crushed eggshells can also be added for a calcium boost.

    Throw in Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags

    Used coffee grounds and tea bags provide a touch of nitrogen and help maintain a balanced compost mix.

    Add More Leaves

    As autumn progresses, you’ll have a continuous supply of leaves. Keep adding them, especially when you incorporate wetter materials like food scraps to maintain balance.

    Layer with Cardboard and Newspaper

    Thin strips of cardboard or non-glossy newspaper serve as a carbon source and help absorb excess moisture.

    Maintain Moisture Balance

    Your compost should have the consistency of a wrung-out sponge. If it’s too dry, sprinkle some water. If it’s too wet, add more leaves or paper.

    Turn the Pile Regularly

    Every week or two, turn your compost pile to introduce air, which aids the aerobic decomposition process and prevents foul odours.

    Add a Final Layer of Leaves

    As winter approaches, add a final layer of leaves on top. This acts as an insulation blanket, keeping the pile warmer and aiding decomposition through the colder months.


    Here at Waste Wise, our strategically located composting facilities utilise advanced technologies to efficiently and cost effectively convert over 200,000 tonnes of biowaste per annum into a range of high quality, industry certified organic compost products.

    We have over 20 years’ experience in composting, and are continually improving our process, increasing capacity and reducing costs whilst maximising our positive impact on the environment.

    By layering the best of the season in your compost bin, you are also helping to reduce waste. So, grab that rake, gather those leaves, and let the composting magic begin!