As the clocks spring forwards and the first of the bank holiday weekends start to arrive, it’s that time of year to hire a skip and give the garden a proper going over ready for the main growing season of spring and summer.
Most of us have a garden waste recycling bin at home, but the rules on what you can and can’t put in there can be quite confusing and specific – for example, some councils let you put kitchen waste in your garden waste recycling bins, while others might only accept grass clippings, dead flowers and light pruning from shrubs.
So what else can you recycle in the garden, even if you don’t do it using your household recycling bin? And what kinds of materials will you need to hire a skip for?
Types of garden waste you can compost
You can recycle many kinds of biological waste on a garden compost heap, including grass clippings, fallen leaves, pulled-up plants etc, just as you would in a domestic recycling bin.
You can also put much of your kitchen waste on there, such as vegetable peelings, used coffee filter papers, old tea bags and egg shells.
Paper is fine too – including egg cartons and used kitchen roll – just be careful that you haven’t used the kitchen roll to mop up anything that might harm your compost heap, like bleach.
Technically you can compost leftover meat too, but this is more likely to lead to maggots, flies and unwelcome smells, so you might want to dispose of this separately.
Types of garden waste you can’t recycle
It’s useful to know what cannot be recycled, too. Obviously rocks, stones and rubble are not recyclable, although you might be able to directly reuse them in rockeries or gravel areas – or bury rubble in the bottom of raised flowerbeds if they are deep enough, without affecting the plants at the surface.
For larger quantities or anything you can’t reuse on-site, hire a garden waste skip and get it collected and taken away.
This also applies to large quantities of soil if you’re doing landscaping work, digging out new flowerbeds, replacing your topsoil with new fertile compost, or even removing enough earth to dig out a fish pond.
Easter weekend garden recycling ideas
The long Easter weekend is coming at the perfect time in 2018 to get out and sort out some garden recycling, following just a week after the clocks changed – making it the first full weekend of British summertime.
Why not dig out a new compost heap for the coming season? Having a dedicated area in your garden for recyclable waste means you can produce some fertile compost to dig into your flowerbeds when it’s ready, and can keep the new compost heap free from any of the types of contamination mentioned above.
You can also make good use of non-recyclable household waste in the garden, for example by using remnants of carpet to protect flowerbeds and roots against any late-season frosts – with some forecasts of a ‘white Easter’, this might be more likely in 2018 than you expect.