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I want to resume composting now I have moved house. However, my husband fears rats are attracted to compost heaps. Please reassure him this is not so.
Of course rats can be anywhere, but provided you only put green waste from the kitchen and garden onto your heap there is no reason why rats should be attracted.

I've never had rats in any of my 6 compost bins. However, rats love decking, and my neighbours had a family under their's! Apparently the rise in decking has been far more attractive to rats than compost heaps!

Use your toilet rolls as pots to sow peas, sweetcorn etc, plant the toilet roll when seedlings are ready and no root disturbance.
We have been composting "basics" for a while now and we did recently have problems with rats. However, my friend told me about covering the base of the compost bin with wire netting and letting it come up the sides of the bin (we have a black plastic bin). This so far has done the trick - the rats can not burrow in from the sides or from below.
I find the compost heap a great place to dispose of all the confidential parts of mail, well shredded first then topped with plenty of kitchen peelings and tea bags. So far I've had no problem with rats.


I have had major problems with rats this winter and early spring, all due to next door's shed only been a few inches from the ground and I had them in my compost heap,however,I solved the problem by placing stones/bricks around the base of the compost heap and this has stopped them form digging under the compost base. I have now managed to get the rat problem under control.
In last month's GW magazine, there was a letter from a reader giving the web address of a company who recycle plastic wrappings. Unfortunately, I've lost the address - can anyone help?
I also compost cardboard, newspaper and eggboxes. Recently one eggbox still had an out of date egg in it.To my amazement a couple of weeks after throwing this eggbox onto my compost heap I found the egg buried, intact, in a nearby vegetable bed! Was this egg taken and buried by a fox or squirrel(both of which visit the garden)?
Not sure if its the same company but I send all my plastic periodical wrappings from work to a company called:

RR Flexco,6 - 10 Concorde Road,Norwich,Norfolk, NR6 6BW

I am new to composting and last November started my first bin and understand that compost should be ready or start to be ready about 6 months after first starting which is about now. So today I opened the bottom hatch and there seemed to be a layer of brown mixture on the bottom, but a lot of uncomposted stuff on the top. One of my problems is that I can't lean far enough into the bin and dig in to stir it - I have a stick activator and so a lot of stuff is turned over lightly. Would adding an Organic Compost Maker be a good idea? Any suggestions/tips would be appreciated.
I've been composting for many years with no real problems with rats although I'm lucky with a high cat population which I assume keep things under control (just) - I do know the London borough I live in does have a rat problem.

With regards as to what goes in - well everything!; from the obvious garden waste (shredded if need be) to the dirt collected in the hoover. Even breakfast cereal boxes go in with any shredded confidential waste - it just has to be left long enough (9 months for me) and kept damp.

We were given a compost bin years ago by the local council and it quickly fills with the usual kitchen scraps. Then about four years ago they provided wheelie bins for garden waste to be collected fortnightly. The curious thing is that they insist that only green waste go into them - no lumps of wood and definately no cardboard/paper. They also provide boxes for newspapers and magazines, glass and tins - but not cardboard. So I am pleased to read that it can go into my own composter rather that burn it or bin it with the household waste.

Re E White finding the egg after two weeks - we found one after umpteen months when digging a border and it was not a pleasant experience!

I've just spent a very enjoyable 15 minutes or so (I really need to get a life!) tearing up egg boxes, toilet roll tubes, etc. I've half filled our kitchen crock and they'll go in the compost bin tomorrow. Hubby is upstairs about to start shredding other paper also to go in mixed with the grass cuttings the next time we cut the grass. Everything else paper goes in the Council's blue bin. All it takes to recycle is a wee bit of time and effort - like my 5min trip today with the glass and cans - Mum takes the plastic cos she's handy for the plastic bank. We're a family of 3 and we put one bag (at most) of rubbish into our wheelie bin every week. I can't believe we were so ignorant and lazy about recycling just a couple of years ago - it's become routine now.
I compost just about anything organic that will rot with no bad results yet, but no meats as this will attract vermin. Wet paper and cardboard helps it on its way. I'm extending the composting bins,just wish I had such good fortune as Joe Swift with all the free wood and compost! Our council sells it back to us at £2.50 a small bag, perhaps I'm not as good looking as Joe.


I've had great results with my one n only bin, but I am thinking of a bin just for card, paper, cereal box typecard and grass clipping. any thoughts.
We built two 4x4x4 bins last summer and have been adding everything uncooked that the school kitchens give us, bread, egg shells, even things with mayonase like coleslaw, along with all the lettuce, cabbage leaves etc. In the garden we chuck on everything we pull out of the ground, and I put the cardboard in. It has all rotted down marvelously, and much has gone onto our veggy patch. I haven't seen any rats, but I have seen some of the onion skins taken away and left by the fence!! Recently, when I turned the whole lot out, I was supprised to find lots of strips of plastic amongst the semi-rotted compost ... these turned out to be the sellotape from the cardboxes I had put in!!! Also, I found a box that was plastic coated that had obviously not rotted away. So, I will of course be far more vigilant from now on as to what is attached to the cardboard I put in the heap!!
Thanks Sarah. Great to hear that St. George's School Gardening Club are keen composters. Yes, do be vigilant about the type of compost you put on your heap, but it's surprising the amount of plain card and paper (no tape, labels, etc) you generate over the course of a month. Kitchen peelings can be wrapped in newspaper, and this composts well, along with egg boxes soaked in water. Recycling should be part of daily life for all of us.
I've started composting kitchen waste in a plastic bin but it smells really bad at the moment, is this normal. I have added composting agent. Does the bottom of the bin need to be open to encourage air flow? Any suggestions welcome
I now live and garden in Brasil, on heavy clay. Good compost is hard to buy here, so I make my own using all the things mentioned in other comments.I have constructed secure wire bins,to keep out monkeys, snakes and rats. The contents of the bins decompose quickly in the heat and damp, and the result is wonderful,black and sweet smelling.Composting is not a thing people seem to do here.