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How to Recycle

How is garden waste recycled?

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Why recycle garden waste?

Garden waste is collected by your local council either weekly or fortnightly and used for composting. Many of us recycle our garden waste using this service, if we’re not composting it at home. Check what garden waste collections are available in your area.

Find a local recycling facility

How is garden waste recycled?

Once collected, garden waste is taken to a composting site where it is shredded and laid out in a long pile called a windrow to decompose into compost.

Windrows are turned periodically to allow more oxygen to get into the mixture, which encourages the growth of bacteria and fungus known as ‘microorganisms’ which speeds up the composting process.

During this time, the waste reaches a temperature of around 60 degrees Celsius, which kills off any harmful pathogens, weeds, and plant diseases.

Once the mixture is completely broken down, the compost is then used by farmers and growers to produce food, as well as in parks and public gardens.

If we don’t recycle our garden waste, its potential is lost forever.

How is it used?

When we recycle our garden waste, it can be turned into compost that can be used by householders, farmers, and growers to produce food, instead of using peat or artificial fertilisers.

How to recycle garden waste at home

  • Most types of garden waste can be recycled, including bark, flowers, grass and hedge cuttings, leaves, plants, small branches, twigs and weeds;

  • If possible, consider setting up a compost bin to recycle your garden waste at home;

  • If you can't compost at home, you can take it to your local garden waste recycling point or use your local garden waste collection service. Check with your local council to see if you can recycle garden waste locally;

  • Although composting sites have measures to remove contamination, it is important that plastics and large stones are kept to a minimum in garden waste collected for composting, in order to ensure that a quality product can be made;

  • It is also important that grass cuttings where herbicides have been used aren't put out for recycling with garden waste;

  • Open air windrow composting is generally used for garden waste materials only. Catering or animal wastes should not go in your garden waste bin.

Find out more about setting up home composting

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