Residents in County Durham are being urged to get composting and make the most of those falling autumn leaves.
With the nights drawing in and a distinct chill in the air, autumn is now upon us and it is a perfect time to start composting.
Durham County Council is currently promoting home compost bins across County Durham to encourage people to recycle their garden waste.
Vicky Bell, waste strategy and policy officer at Durham County Council, said: “Met Office figures show that 2013 has been the hottest summer since 2006, and the higher than average temperatures along with the occasional heavy downpour, has encouraged plant growth.
“At this time of year people are thinking about tidying up the garden but instead of making bonfires from garden waste which pollute the atmosphere, a much more environmentally-friendly way to dispose of this waste is to compost it at home.
“There’s plenty of natural garden waste available – such as spent bedding plants, grass cuttings, autumn leaves and prunings – which can all be recycled over the coming months to produce nutritious compost ready for use in the garden next spring.
“The secret to great compost is having a good range of ingredients, and in addition to garden waste, you can also mix in other materials such as coffee grounds, tissues, paper napkins, cardboard and vacuum cleaner dust.”
For people wondering what to do with all their fallen leaves this autumn, a good idea is to make a leaf mould, a fine product that can be used in place of peat as potting compost for container plants.
A leaf mould can be made by putting the excess leaves into a bin bag, making a few holes in it, and leaving it in a secluded spot to rot down.
Another good idea with fallen leaves is to use a lawnmower to collect up leaves as this shreds them and helps to speed up the composting process.
For further information on composting and making leaf moulds, contact Durham County Council on 03000 261 000 or got to
Durham County Council’s current compost bin initiative offers residents the opportunity to try out home compost bins at discounted prices. To order a compost bin or for more information, contact 0844 571 4444 or visit