Free Home Compost Bins
Free black 220-litre home composters are available for collection by Stirling Council residents from all three Household Waste Recycling Centres (Balfron, Callander and Polmaise) during their normal opening hours. You can also pick up a compost bin from the main office at Lower Polmaise Waste Management Centre (next to the HWRC) during office hours (9:00 - 5:00) Monday through Friday. Proof of residence (driver's license, utility bill, etc) may be requested, and you'll be asked to sign the distribution sheet with your name and address.
Why Compost At Home?
Composting at home is one of the most effective and environmentally friendly ways of dealing with your garden waste.
Home composting deals with hedge trimmings, grass cuttings, leaves and other plant material from your property as close as possible to where it has been created. It involves no transport costs, no added pollution to the environment and a reduced carbon footprint for your home. In addition, it provides a continuing supply of a valuable soil additive that can be used in the garden and with potted plants.
To help get you started, a free, black 220-litre home composter is available from Stirling Council at Lower Polmaise. Give us a call to arrange a pick-up (two composters per household maximum). You'll need some evidence that you're a Stirling Council resident such as a utility bill with your address on it or your Council Tax bill.
How to compost at home
The Zero Waste Scotland's Guide to Home Composting pages are full of excellent advice on home composting for novices and experts alike.
Larger compost bins
To handle more material, larger compost bins can easily be made from a few used wooden pallets. Gardener's World website has an excellent article showing how it's done.
Here's an article with some good ideas about how to aerate a large pile without turning.
Making leaf mould is a very simple process. In six months you can have a good mulch and in 12 months a good potting compost you've made yourself. Especially useful if you have lots of leaves, but it will work just as well with smaller amounts.
A useful technique that a couple people have reported to be very helpful involves a rotary lawn mower. Sweep leaves into the middle of the grass and simply mow over them. This chops them up and they tend to take up less space -- especially as they settle. If you're making leaf mould, the process will be speeded up. If you're composting, mix the leaves with an equal amount of grass cuttings before putting them in the compost bin and it will accelerate the composting process.
Another good idea for lots of garden waste comes from Permaculture magazine: "..Instead of putting branches, leaves and grass clippings in bags by the curbside for the bin men... build a hugel bed. Simply mound logs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper, manure, compost or whatever other biomass you have available, top with soil and plant your veggies."
Three one-page flyers can be downloaded here for quick advice on three popular types of home composting:
Forth Environment Link
Finally, Forth Environment Link may be able to include instruction and advice about home composting in upcoming workshops related to Zero Waste Communities. For further information, please contact Donna Rodgers (firstname.lastname@example.org).