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Old 11-12-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
eppingstrider
 
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Lightbulb Composting bedding waste

Waste is an issue for most of us - how to get rid of all the guinea poo, not mention the soggy hay, uneaten scraps of cabbage leaf, spilled pellets, and whatever loose bedding you use.

Technically, if only those things are in it, you should be able to dispose of it as 'green waste' but most councils wont take it in roadside collection bins or sacks. You may be able to dispose of it in the green waste section of the local dump (aka Waste and recycling centre). Check with your local council.

But you're throwing away a very useful resource that just needs time to turn it into something you can grow nice veggies in, which will be eaten by your piggies and turned into poo, and left awhile so you can grow nice veggies ....! Yes folks, you can compost it.

Composting is a process that occurs naturally whereby microrganisms and invertebrates break down plant matter and turn it into soil. How fast it happens depends on all sorts of things, including the type of plant material, the size of the heap, the time of year, the weather....

What do you need to make compost?
You need space to make a heap, or to put a compost bin. You will probably need more than one heap or bin to let one break down while you're filling up the other. You probably also need a garden, or friends that have gardens so that you can use the compost once you've made it, but dont forget you can use it in pots, troughs and sacks to grow veg for your piggies, so 'garden' is a loose term.

What can you put in your compost heap?
The art is to mix what are called 'green' plant matter with 'brown' plant matter in a nice balance. Too much of greens and you will get a slimy mess, too much brown and nothing much will happen for years. On the whole, greens tend to be green, or soft tissue - including old vegetables and peelings, grass cuttings, leaf cuttings (but not autumn leaves), flowers and dead flowers from vases, weeds if they havent got seeds on them, (or if you dont mind weeds growing in your new soil). Greens also include hay - it counts as grass even though its sort of brown. Browns including anything wood or derived from wood, so that includes wood shavings, megazorb, cardboard (put clean cardboard in recycling and pee'd on cardboard in the compost heap). Also small twigs, paper, egg boxes.

Question - is GP poo green or brown?
Answer - in composting terms its green - digested and processed vegetable matter. So a mixture of poo, hay, bedding and paper is a nice composting mix, all the more so because pee helps to kickstart things.

So to get started - you can put it in a heap or get a nice composting bin - check http://www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/index.html for offers on bins in your area and more information on composting.

I'll do another post later in this thread on points to watch and FAQ!

Last edited by eppingstrider; 26-02-2011 at 06:13 PM..




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Old 11-12-2008, 06:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

I can see this thread is going to prove really useful

Thanks for taking the time ES (resourceful as ever)!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

I mentioned that you need to have a nice mix for it all to work 'cook' properly. My trouble is I tend to have a bit too much 'brown' in it as the megazorb is wood pulp. That presents two problems - it isnt wet enough and it isnt active enough.

Solution: add more really green stuff like grass clippings, and mix them in (at least into the last pile of GP waste to be added), and leave the top off the bin to let the rain in.

When I think it's soggy enough all the way through I put the lid back on the bin and let it all happen. An active compost heap heats up in the first few days and weeks and the bacteria get to work, then starts to cool down and the worms and minibugs move in. With any luck I have two bins that are mainly GP waste working away quietly at present - I darent look at them for fear of being disappointed.

But it does help to add grass clippings and other garden waste to your pile. A steaming compost heap is a good compost heap!




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Old 22-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

Mine all just goes in the bin at the moment but we're considering having a piggy muck compost heap not far from my shed.... watch this space.
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Old 22-01-2009, 03:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

Consider making a Norwegian box arrangement PigPog. If you watched Monty Don on Gardeners World ever, we call it the Monty Don method - a number (at least two, pref three or more) of cubicles next door to each other, fresh waste goes in the first, then every few months you turn the last bay out to use, the next bay up in to the last bay, and finally the first bay into the second so you have an empty bay to start filling up again.

You can use fresh planks, sleepers, potato boxes if you can get them or make the bays out of old pallets. The link above will lead you to help on this.


Not got space but got a veg patch?
I dug fresh GP waste straight into my veg patch when I was digging it the other day... improves the soil but need a crop that doesnt mind the fresh waste going in - grow beans on top and they'll love it. Or peas. In fact as my GP love any part of a pea plant, I'll grow peas there come srping.




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Old 21-06-2010, 08:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

I put mine in my brown wheelie bin - for compostable waste.
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Old 21-06-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

Yes that's fine too. Make sure there's no plastic in it (not even 'compostable' bags unless council approved). Some councils dont appreciate paper in the compostables bins and some dont like animal waste; but that is mainly because of the difficulty of managing the difference between guinea pig poo and dog poo in a simple message to the public.




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Old 22-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

I have put this waste on the garden and it looks amazing our plants have really benefited from it and its not smelly, not once you have put some soil over it and the birds like it to we have lots of hay nests now you can see them in the trees XD
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Old 29-06-2010, 03:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

Hi ES, can I have some advice please? I've had my compost bin for about 10 months now and it's finally looking like compost I'm not sure where to go now though - I'm worried that if I just keep adding to it, I'll never have 100% compost. So do I give it a break now until it's completely turned into compost and I can use it, and then start again? The problem is that I only have one compost bin and don't have room for another one. Sorry, I'm new to this gardening lark! Thank you
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Old 29-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Composting bedding waste

My compost bin has a hatch at the bottom - when the lower part turns into compost I scoop it out and put it in buckets, then poke it all with a stick till the top, uncomposted stuff falls to the bootom. I just keep putting more at the top.
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