In addition to recycling, the Council is also promoting waste minimisation. One simple method for achieving this is to compost kitchen waste and garden clippings. There are two methods of composting. The first is to purchase a compost bin. These bins are suitable for most garden waste, some kitchen waste as well as some paper and cardboard. Naturally-occuring bacteria break down the waste and turn it into compost. Apart from reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill, you also get a free source of compost for your garden. They can be purchased at most garden centres and DIY stores.
The other form of composting is worm composting (sometimes known as vermicomposting). As the name suggests, this involves using worms to break down kitchen and garden waste. It is possible to buy special containers or even to make one yourself. A standard plastic dustbin, with holes drilled in the bottom is ideal. Line the bottom with gravel, then put a layer of chopped cardboard to act as bedding. Regular earthworms are not suitable as they do not eat sufficient quantities of waste. It is possible to gather your own though! Brandling worms are the small, bright pink worms you find in horse manure. So if you have access to these, you can reduce the cost even further.
Worms will eat all of the materials you would normally place into a standard compost bin. The only difference is that they can quite happily cope with cooked food, as long as you avoid meat, fish and grease. It's a good idea to feed smaller amount regularly to the bin rather than one big feed which may overload the worms ability to eat it. If this happens the waste may putrify. If this happens stop feeding, turn the waste regularly and break up the rotting waste as much as possible. Once the worms have managed to digest the food again you can resume feeding.
Disposal of green waste
If you have too much green waste or do not have sufficient space to home compost, you can take the waste to an authorised waste facility. Two of these are operated by Oxigen:
Silliot Hill is located just outside Kilcullen:
Gallows Hill is located in Athy:
There is a charge for using these facilities to cover the cost of composting the waste.