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What Goes In The Brown Bin?

Author(s): Pavitar Singh & Emma Kelly, 07/05/2024

What Goes In The Brown Bin?

In recent years, the push towards sustainability and environmental conservation has seen a significant rise in practices such as recycling and composting. One of the crucial elements of this movement is the separation of waste, which not only facilitates recycling processes but also significantly reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. A key component of this waste separation process is the use of the brown bin, which is designated for organic waste. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what exactly goes into the brown bin. This post aims to demystify the brown bin's purpose and outline the materials that should be disposed of while also highlighting common mistakes to avoid, the benefits of using a brown bin and how to maintain it for optimum use.

The brown bin is primarily used for organic waste, which includes any material that is biodegradable and can be composted. The bin's contents are taken to composting facilities, where they undergo a process that turns them into nutrient-rich compost, which can then be used in agriculture, landscaping, and gardening. Common items for the brown bin include food waste, garden waste and other compostable items such as paper. Below is a full list of what you can put in the brown bin:

Food Waste

  • Including fruit and vegetable scraps,

  • Meat and fish scraps (including bones),

  • Eggshells,

  • Coffee grounds and filters

  • Tea bags

  • Leftover food from your plate & dishes

  • Breads, cakes & biscuits

  • Dairy products

Garden Waste

  • Grass clippings

  • Leaves

  • Branches

  • Plants

  • Flowers

  • Weeds

Other Compostable Items

  • Tissue paper

  • Paper bags

  • Natural cork

  • Hair & fur

  • Feathers

  • Wooden items labelled as compostable (such as stir sticks)

  • Certified compostable plates, cups, utensils and bags

Each of these items decomposes at different rates, but all contribute to a healthy, nutrient-rich compost that can benefit your garden. Remember, the balance of 'greens' (nitrogen-rich materials like food scraps and fresh garden waste) and 'browns' (carbon-rich materials like dried leaves, cardboard, and paper) is crucial for efficient composting.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

The brown bin serves as an excellent tool for managing organic waste, but there are a few common mistakes to avoid in order not to hinder the composting process. One key error is including non-compostable plastics; not everything labelled as biodegradable is suitable for the brown bin, as only items that are certified compostable should be added. Another mistake we see is the disposal of liquids in the bin, as they can disrupt the composting process and are best kept out. Additionally, pet waste and litter, which may contain harmful bacteria and pathogens, should not be included. Finally, to prevent the spread of disease, diseased plants must also be excluded from the brown bin. Avoiding these mistakes ensures a more effective and safe composting process.

How to Maintain Your Brown Bin

To maximise the benefits of your brown bin and maintain its condition, it's important to adopt a few key practices. Firstly, keeping the bin clean can be easily achieved by lining it with newspaper or a certified compostable liner. This simple step goes a long way in maintaining hygiene. Secondly, to reduce odours and further reduce waste, consider freezing your food scraps or sprinkling a bit of baking soda over them before disposal, which can significantly mitigate unpleasant smells. Lastly, the impact of proper brown bin usage can be greatly amplified by sharing your knowledge and encouraging others to adopt similar practices. By educating those around you about the environmental benefits of correctly using the brown bin, you contribute to a larger, collective effort towards sustainability.

For business users, Investing in commercial compost bins can enhance your sustainability practices for larger-scale operations or businesses, efficiently managing larger volumes of organic waste and supporting broader environmental goals. To maintain commercial compost bins, we recommend regularly aerating the compost. This prevents the build-up of foul odours, which can be more noticeable for larger compost bins. If you are looking for more information on starting a compost program in your business, check out our commercial composting guide.

As your waste service provider, KeyGreen will provide you with a brown bin for your food waste and will ensure the bin is collected on a regular collection schedule.

If you don't currently have an organic brown bin and you would like to sign-up for one, please follow the button below.

Turning Organic Waste Into a Greener Future with KeyGreen

In summary, the adoption and correct use of brown bins are pivotal steps toward achieving a sustainable lifestyle. By responsibly disposing of organic waste, including food scraps, garden waste, and other compostable items, we not only contribute to the reduction of landfill waste but also support the creation of nutrient-rich compost essential for agriculture and landscaping. However, it's vital to avoid common pitfalls, such as the inclusion of non-compostable plastics and liquids, which can hinder the composting process. At KeyGreen, our dedication to environmental conservation, combined with our expertise in managing organic waste, positions us as a prime partner in the collective effort towards a more sustainable planet. Contact us today to discover how we can support your organic waste management needs for both households and businesses.

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