Home composting

Home composting provides a way not only of reducing landfilled waste, but also of converting it into a product that is useful for gardening and house plants.

Composting is a great step forward towards more sustainable living. It is good for the environment and also saves you money as you don’t have to buy compost for your garden.

To help residents of Tower Hamlets compost at home we offer compost bins and wormeries for just £5 each. Compost bins are great if you have a garden. All your cuttings can be made into compost which you can then use on your garden.

Wormeries are designed to take kitchen waste only and are therefore ideal for people living in flats or those who have little or no garden waste.

Compost bins

The compost bin we offer to residents is the compost converter. It is strong, simple and very easy to use and does not require any assembly. The capacity of the converter we offer is 220 litres. It measures 900mm(h) x 740mm(W).

 

You can put all of the following materials into your compost bin:

  • Grass cuttings 
  • Leaves
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Shredded or scrunched paper 
  • Small pieces of cardboard 
  • Sawdust dried 
  • Tea bags and coffees grounds 
  • Dried and crushed egg shells 
  • Wool or cotton in small threads 
  • Hamster and gerbil droppings
 

You should not try to compost any of the following:

  • Meat or dairy produce 
  • Bread, pasta and rice
  • Cooked food 
  • Plant / weed seeds (these could lie dormant and grow later on) 
  • Thick branches
  • Diseased plant material (could spread to your healthy plants) 
  • Citric fruit (is too acidic and may attract flies)
  • Photo/ glossy printed paper (has too many non-natural chemicals)
  • Dog and cat manure (carry human pathogens so must not be used) 
  • Glass, plastic and metal (they take thousands of years to breakdown) 
  • Chunks of hard wood (could clog up your compost system)

 

Wormeries

Wormeries don’t smell as the food is broken down quickly – and don’t worry, the worms won’t escape!

We offer three types of wormeries to residents. All the wormeries come complete with full instructions and a voucher to purchase the worms. When you are ready to start using the bin, simply post the voucher to order the worms and start feeding them once they arrive. Once started the worms will breed and multiply to suit the quantity of household food waste and green waste that you choose to compost.

Wormeries must be looked after regularly to ensure that the worms are always busy eating new food. The wormeries onJunior wormery offer are:

Junior wormery

The junior wormery is small and compact. It can be used both indoors and outdoors and is ideal for flats and single- or two-person households. The capacity of the junior wormery is 21 litres. It measures 390mm (h) x 350mm (w). 

Tiger wormery  

The tiger wormery has 3 square stacking trays that make compost harvest easy and can be kept outdoors. It is suitable for 3-4 people, with a capacity of 46.5 litres. It measures 400mm (w) x 400mm (d) x 520mm (h) when empty; 700mm (h) when full.

Original wormery

 

 

 

Original wormery

The original wormery is suitable for family use and can be kept indoors or outdoors. The capacity of the original wormery is 100 litres. It measures 762mm (h) x 610mm (w) x 432mm (d).

What you can feed your wormery

You can put all of the following materials into your compost wormery:

  • Virtually all kitchen waste – peelings, cooked and uncooked vegetable scraps
  • Teabags
  • Egg shells
  • Paper kitchen towels, cardboard from toilet rolls and kitchen rolls (broken up)
  • Bread, rice, pasta
  • Cereals
  • Food leftovers from plates.

You should not put any of the following into your wormery:

  • Meat and fish
  • Citrus fruits
  • Onions
  • Cheese 
  • Grass
  • Cat/dog faeces.

Caution: Do not overfeed the wormery. The food will just rot, upsetting the worms, and may smell.

Ensure that no chemical and liquid oil products are put in the wormery as they will kill the worms.

Order your compost bin or wormery compost, recycling

To help residents of Tower Hamlets compost at home we offer compost bins and wormeries for just £5 each.

For information and to order a compost bin please call 020 7364 6931 or email streetline@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

Delivery to your home will normally be made during the week following receipt of your order and it will take 5 working days. Unfortunately we are not able to specify an exact time slot for delivery.

As an alternative to having a delivery, once you have paid the compost bin or wormery can be collected from Northumberland Wharf reuse and recycling centre.

Compost bins (but not wormeries) can be purchased using cash (no cheques or cards please) from the three city farms in the borough, see details below. The income is retained by the farms to help support their activities.

When collecting your compost bin or wormery please remember to take proof of your address which shows you are a Tower Hamlets resident, such as a recent utility bill or bank statement.

Please note that wormeries are limited to one per household and compost bins are limited to two per household.

Collection sites - opening and collection times

Farm/ recycling centre

Opening times

Collection/ Delivery of bins

Payment

Address

Spitalfields Farm

(Compost bins only)

10am-4pm Tues-Sun & public holidays

Collect only
12-4pm Tues-Sun & public holidays

Cash

Weaver Street
London E1 5HJ

Mudchute Farm

(Compost bins only)

10am-4pm Mon-Sun & public holidays

Collect only
Wed & Sat 11am-3pm

Cash

Pier Street, isle of Dogs
London E14 3HP

Stepney City Farm

(Compost bins only)

9am-6pm Mon-Sun

Collect only
Mon-Sun 12noon-4pm

Cash

Corner of Stepney Way/Stepney High Street,
London E1 3DG

Northumberland Wharf Recycling & Reuse Centre

(Compost bins and wormeries)

1pm-8pm Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat-Sun

Collection only 18-8pm Mon-Fri 9-6 Sat-Sun

Call 020 7364 6931

Yabsley Street off Preston’s Road
London E14 9RG

Community composting for flats

Community composting is one of the most sustainable ways of managing food and garden waste because of the environmental, economic, social and personal benefits. Community composting provides the opportunity for those residents who haven’t got individual gardens at their home but are willing to do their bit in their community gardens.

We provide large tumbler composters to community groups or estates that are interested in the scheme and have at least five volunteers to take part in. The volunteers must agree to take charge of this scheme and reduce the kitchen waste from entering rubbish stream.