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Compost Awareness

International Compost Awareness Week 2024

Sunday 5 May to Saturday 11 May 2024

International Compost Awareness Week is celebrated every year on an International basis in May to raise awareness to the benefits of composting and to encourage people to compost wherever they are in the world!

Residents from the Newry, Mourne and Down area can celebrate Compost Awareness Week by getting involved with the Council’s FREE Compost Giveaway.

Green fingered residents can collect one bag of compost at the ‘giveaway’ events on Tuesday 7 or Wednesday 8 May at any of our 10 Household Recycling Centres (HRC’s).

The compost is distributed on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS, with ONE BAG PER VEHICLE so get there early to avoid disappointment.

Supplied by Natural World Products, the compost is made from garden waste recycled at the HRC’S and the contents of the brown bin collected from Newry, Mourne and Down households. In the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area in 2023 over 20,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste was converted to compost.

For information on Household Recycling Centre Opening Times click here

For more information on how to Recycle Food Waste click here

What is Compost?

Compost consists of organic material (fertilizer) that is added to soil to produce healthy plant life without the addition of chemical pesticides. To make compost, all you will need to do is mix a variety of food scraps and other household food and garden waste that are normally used and discarded into our waste bins.

In fact, food scraps and other kinds of organic material make up almost 30% of household waste that end up in landfills, taking up space and releasing methane when they can be way more useful being turned into compost instead.

So composting is not only better for the environment, it’s the perfect DIY project that anyone can attempt in order to eat healthier, AND save money.

What are the Benefits of Composting?

Promotes Recycling
Composting ensures that up to 30% of household waste doesn’t end up in landfills. It is also a great way to teach kids to be more environmentally conscious, and to get involved with chores. Most importantly, recycling food waste into compost helps you grow more food!

Produces Nutrient Rich Soil
Composting does wonders for planting as it enriches the soil, subdues plant diseases, keeps pests at bay, and retains essential moisture. Composting creates an organic component in soil called humus, that creates essential nutrients like nitrogen and carbon that help with plants with photosynthesis and healthy growth.

Develops Precious Microorganisms
Composting encourages the decomposition of organic material that produces valuable microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. These microorganisms are crucial to help break down organic matter, and aerate the soil in order to create humus (a nutrient-rich material). Humus helps the composting process along by creating nitrogen which is a key nutrient that most plants need.

Reduces Dependency on Chemicals
Microorganisms produced through composting are effective enough to produce healthy plant life without the use of chemical fertilizers. Just like nature intended, growing your own food is much healthier if its chemical free.

Reduces Methane Emissions in Landfills
Organic waste will decompose naturally in landfills. The decomposition process of organic waste in landfills takes a long time, while releasing methane greenhouse gasses that contribute to air pollution. While that happens, all the essential nutrients from organic materials are wasted when they could be reused to help feed ourselves.