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Composting is a natural process which converts organic waste into an earth-like mass by means of bacteria and other micro-organisms. The composting process is supported by larvae, woodlice, beetles, worms and other such creatures. Moisture and oxygen are the most important factors in the composting process. Heat is generated during the composting process. As a result the temperature in the composter may rise to about 50 degrees. Micro-organisms flourish at this temperature, enabling the composting process to proceed more rapidly.

Learn Useful Tips from a Composting Champion

photo of the Storey family

photo of compost in hands

Theresa Storey and her family live in Ballingarry, County Limerick. Theresa is a keen gardener and environmentalist and has been composting for many years. Theresa would like to encourage as many people as possible to start composting at home so that they too can benefit from the practice. Home composting is easy and is an activity that the whole family can play a part in!!!

Why Do You Compost?

Because Home Composting can save us money and helps us to manage our waste better. It provides a free soil conditioner for my garden and it also helps my garden to retain moisture – reducing water consumption. It can also save money in waste disposal charges.

What Type of Composting System have you set up?

I have 2 pallet composters in place. They are made from materials that are normally thrown away. I simply roped four pallets together to form a composting bin. It is useful to have two composters, let one sit and biodegrade, while we continue to fill the other one.

What Materials do you Compost?

We compost fruit skins and vegetable peelings of all types, old flowers, hedge clippings, paper etc., No meat or cooked food should be put into the compost bin at any stage – This is very important as it could cause your compost to become contaminated.

Where is the Composter located?

It is important that the composter is convenient to the kitchen. Our composter is located a short distance from the house surrounded by trees and bushes to the rear which provide some shelter. It can be a good idea to use a small caddy for your kitchen food waste and then use the caddy to transfer the waste to the composter.

Any Problems/Solutions you’ve had with your composting system?

I haven’t had any problems with composting over the years but I am careful to put the correct type of materials into the composter.

Ever had any problems with unwanted animals in the composter?

No, I’ve never had a problem with this. Not using cooked food waste helps prevent that problem.

How do you manage grass – often too much grass for composter?

I place grass in the composter but I also leave cuttings under hedges as mulch to contain weeds and provide some feed.

How and when do you harvest your compost?

I usually harvest my compost in the autumn. I shovel it from the bottom and spread it around the plants and shrubs as required.

What do you use the compost for?

I use it as a soil enhancer for bedding plants and shrubs.

You too can Compost!

Composting can save you money:

  • Provides a free soil conditioner
  • Helps soil retain moisture - reducing water consumption
  • Can help you to manage your waste better and save money in waste disposal charges.

Compost can help your garden:

  • Improves plant health and growth - increasing yields of fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs.
  • Increases nutritional quality of home grown foods.
  • Reduces reliance on toxic chemicals and pesticides.

Compost can improve our environment:

  • Converts waste into a valuable resource.
  • Reduces reliance on landfilling of waste.
  • Recycles nutrients back into the soil.

Compost cones can be purchased from most hardware stores.

A Home composting mini guide can be downloaded here:
Home Composting Mini Guide
Please note composting cones are not suitable for cooked material


Vermi-composting is an additional form of composting which involves the use of tiger worms and a sealed base unit which allows for the composting of cooked food, paper and cardboard. To find out more about vermi-composting log on to the following web sites: