Waste Collection
Request A Quote
Request a quote ×

Please enter your details and we'll contact you shortly, or speak to one of our consultants on 01482 325221

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Are you looking to reduce food waste at home and play your part in conserving the environment? You’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through some simple steps you can take to curb waste and how composting can be a game-changer.


    Why It’s Important to Reduce Food Waste

    When you reduce food waste, you’re not just saving money; you’re also: Helping Combat Climate Change (decomposing food in landfills produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas); Conserving Resources (wasting food means wasted water, energy, and labour that went into its production); and Supporting Ethics (with millions hungry, reducing food waste is a step towards a just society).


    Easy-to-Follow Tips to Reduce Food Waste


    The Composting Connection

    Composting is an integral part of the solution to reduce food waste. Starting a compost bin at home allows you to recycle kitchen scraps, turning them into nutrient-rich soil additives. For effective composting, it’s essential to maintain a balance between ‘greens’ (nitrogen-rich materials) and ‘browns’ (carbon-rich materials) to ensure optimal decomposition. This rich compost not only enriches garden soil, making it more fertile, but it also helps the soil retain moisture more effectively, reducing the need for frequent watering. Furthermore, by composting, we significantly reduce the volume of food waste that would otherwise head to the landfill.


    In Conclusion

    To reduce food waste is not only an economic choice but an environmental and ethical imperative. Couple that with composting, and you have a holistic approach to sustainable living. Start with one tip, and gradually incorporate more into your routine. Every step counts in our collective effort to reduce food waste and create a greener planet.

    Our composting facility here at Waste Wise is a beacon of sustainable waste management, transforming organic waste into nutrient-rich compost, promoting both waste reduction and environmental preservation. As the article underscores the significance of minimising food waste and the advantages of composting at a personal level, Waste Wise showcases this on a larger scale. Our innovative composting techniques mirror the easy tips provided, offering a real-world example of how these practices can be amplified to manage waste efficiently and sustainably in commercial settings.

    In the realm of eco-friendly products, two terms often get intertwined or mistaken for one another: biodegradable and compostable. While both sound like ideal solutions for our waste problem, understanding their distinctions is important for sustainable choices. This article delves into the differences between biodegradable and compostable materials, aiming to debunk common misconceptions.


    Definitions: Biodegradable vs Compostable

    Biodegradable products break down and return to nature. Ideally, over time, they degrade from the actions of naturally occurring microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. However, the duration and by-products of this decomposition can vary widely. Items can take anywhere from a few days to years to break down, depending on the environmental conditions and materials in question.

    Compostable items, on the other hand, are organic substances that can be used as a soil additive post decomposition. For an item to be labelled as compostable, it generally should decompose in a compost setting within 90 days. Moreover, it should not release harmful residues and should be capable of supporting plant life.


    Environmental Impact

    Biodegradable products are designed to break down into natural elements, which means they might not persist in the environment as long as non-degradable products. But just because an item is biodegradable doesn’t mean it’s free from environmental harm. There are a number of challenges:-

    Ambiguous Timeframe: “Biodegradable” does not provide a specific timeframe for decomposition. Some products might take years or even decades to break down.

    Toxic Residues: While biodegradable products break down, they may release toxic residues or pollutants. Some so-called biodegradable plastics degrade into microplastics, tiny fragments that can persist in the environment and harm marine life.

    Methane Emissions: Like compostable products, if biodegradable items end up in anaerobic environments like landfills, they can produce methane.

    False Security: The term “biodegradable” can sometimes offer consumers a false sense of eco-friendliness. Just because an item is labelled as biodegradable does not mean it’s the best environmental choice.

    True compostable products offer more environmental benefits, such as:-

    Soil Enrichment: Compostable products decay into organic matter that helps improve soil health. This can rejuvenate the soil, aiding in plant growth, and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers.

    Carbon Sequestration: Composting captures and stores carbon in the form of organic matter, which can be a valuable tool in combatting climate change.

    Reduced Methane Emissions: When organic matter decays in landfills without air, it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting, however, is an aerobic process (requiring oxygen) and primarily produces carbon dioxide, which has a lower global warming potential than methane.


    Certifications Matter

    Look out for certifications on compostable products. In many regions, a genuine compostable product will have a certification to back its claim. This ensures that it meets the standards of decomposition and non-toxicity. Biodegradable products, however, may lack standardised certifications.


    Making Informed Choices

    Before buying products labelled as biodegradable or compostable, it’s wise to:


    Why Biodegradable Products Shouldn’t be Sent to Composting Facilities

    It is essential to recognise that “biodegradable” and “compostable” products are not synonymous and shouldn’t be treated as such. Sending biodegradable products to composting facilities can pose challenges.

    Biodegradable products are designed to break down over an unspecified timeframe, which might be longer than the period required for composting materials. This can disrupt the composting process, slowing down the decomposition of genuinely compostable items.

    Furthermore, as biodegradable items break down, they may release non-organic compounds or microplastics, contaminating the compost output. Thus, mixing biodegradable products with compostable waste can jeopardise the integrity and quality of the compost produced, rendering it less beneficial or even harmful to the environment.

    Waste Wise operates three advanced composting facilities processing over 200,000 tonnes per annum of garden and food waste. We convert this biowaste into of BSI PAS 100 certified compost for use in a range of high-quality organic soil improvers, growing media and top soils. Click here for more information about our composting facilities.

    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!