The rate at which it rots

All this talk of composting so many different items, not just grass cuttings and fallen leaves, has got me thinking. Just how long does it take organic uncooked food waste and other kitchen items to decompose? Seems the lesson is to fill up those compost bins with peel and paper.

A few months

  • Train Tickets: 2 weeks
  • Paper Towel: 2-4 weeks
  • Orange Peel: 2-5 weeks
  • Banana Peel: 3-4 weeks
  • Paper Bag: 1 month
  • Cardboard: 2 months
  • Apple Core: 2 months
  • Waxed Milk Cartons: 3 months

Over a year

  • Cabbage stems.
  • Peach stones.
  • Avocado stones.
  • Conifer and other evergreen cuttings.
  • Nettle and dock stems.
  • Woody prunings.
  • Oak and beech leaves.
  • Egg shells.
  • Holly.

To speed up your compost even further, take a look at my previous blog on the secret to making fast compost. And if your family consume a lot of fruit and vegetables, be sure to find some ‘brown’ carbon-rich ingredients to mix into your compost bin as well: leaves, woody chips and twigs, nut shells, shredded paper and card, straw, hay, sawdust, torn up egg boxes and cartons. Too many peelings, along with any grass cuttings this summer, will overload your bin in nitrogen. It really needs to be 50:50 nitrogen and carbon, layered up, or stick a garden fork in it from time to time to mix it all up and aerate it a bit.


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