Community Composting Group
Compost Team - August 2023
THE LATEST NEWS FROM OUR AWARD WINNING COMMUNITY COMPOSTING PROJECT
Our team of volunteers (why not join us, call Jon Allbutt on 577100) have been producing high quality Black Gold since Easter, it has been selling steadily and we still have plenty available. This is an ideal product to use as a soil conditioner and a mulch for donations of only £1.50 a large bag, or £5.00 for a full wheelbarrow.
We have been very busy making new batches of compost ready to use later this year and for 2024; so far, nearly half of our 36 compost bins are full of new composting material. All of the raw materials (grass, soft green waste, local stable manure and woody prunings) that make our compost are from local folk including our allotmenteers. This year we saw a new record for producing finished compost, just eight weeks from making a new batch to the finished product with temperatures reaching 70C!
We are open on Saturday mornings from 10.00-12.00 and on Wednesday afternoons from 14.00-16.00. You are very welcome to come and join us and learn all about making excellent compost from green waste.
Our project depends on donations for our Black Gold and also income from the Tandridge Lottery. If you do not need our compost perhaps you could support us by buying tickets from the Tandridge Lottery (www.tandridgelottery.co.uk)
The Composting site is located at the allotments and operates every Saturday morning from the 1st Saturday in April until the last one in September. The site is open to the public between 10-12 AM.
The composting team of volunteers start site activities in March. We also meet most Wednesday afternoons during the season to carry out maintenance work and compost preparation.
We welcome new volunteers, including families with young children. The group are friendly and hard-working, each contributing according to ability. Our current team ages range from 6 to 82!
The scheme offers volunteering opportunities for youngsters doing their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Please contact Dilo on 07709 357086 to enquire about placments.
THS Tatsfield Composting Group April 2022
We will be open to residents on most Saturdays, from 10:00 till 12:00.
Please bring your garden waste including hedge trimmings, grass mowings etc. Please do not bring any materials that have been sprayed with weedicides/fungicides etc. unless the product states when it is safe (i.e. biodegraded). Do not bring any food waste.
The attached picture shows the new Engine for the sieve that was purchased with Grant money from Surrey County Council.
Compost will be available at £2.00 per bag (approx 60 litres) – please bring your empty compost bags. If you are a member of the horticultural society or the allotments, the discounted rate is £1.50 per bag or £3.00 per barrow load. The increase in charges is due to fuel costs for our shredding and siever machines.
If you wish to join the happy team of volunteers, please call/text Dilo on 07709 357086
Please bring your garden waste to us and we will convert it to wonderful, rich compost.
We accept all sorts of garden waste including grass mowings, hedge clippings and even stems from prunings. Our shredding machines can handle most woody materials.
Please do not bring any kitchen waste as that will attract rats and badgers to the site.
Also, please do not bring anything that has been sprayed with insecticides or herbicides. Most herbicides will biodegrade – read the instructions. You can bring such materials in once it is safe. However, you should try organic gardening methods and avoid harmful chemicals in your garden.
It is also very important that you do not have soil or stones mixed with your composting materials. They damage our shredding machines.
If you have a large load, please call Dilo on 07709 3570876 and we can arrange for a time when we are less busy.
Our compost is alive – rich in organic matter and soil life.
A healthy soil needs fungi, insects, bacteria, earthworms etc.
Traditional composting methods killed all life and produced a nutritious but sterile mix. Research shows that annual destruction of soil life eventually leads to poor plant health and reduced crop yields and nutritional value.
Our compost is made from a mix of green and brown materials mixed with horse manure (Berkley formula).
It is rich in soil life and is a wonderful mulch for your garden or vegetable plots.
- Grass mowings and strimmings
- Hedge strimmings
- Pruning waste
- Small branches
- Kitchen waste
- Materials sprayed with insecticides or herbicides
- Materials mixed with soil or stones
Our machinery – by Phil Brett (written 26 November 2019 – abridged)
We have two professional-grade shredders and a sieving machine.
Most of the machines you see out and about used by tree surgeons are chippers rather than shredders. These are designed exclusively for wood chipping and cannot handle the mixture of stuff which we get. Apparently, a stone going into a chipper can cause catastrophic damage. Occasionally one gets into our machines and, so far, has caused nothing worse than a nick in one of the blades.
Our first purchase was an Eliet Ultra-Prof. This is their flagship machine and had a lot of features which suited us. It has side panels which reduce noise, a catalytic converter to reduce emissions, an input conveyor belt to take the waste into the machine and a conveyor belt at the other end which streams the output into a wheelbarrow.
We now also have an Eliet Prof 5b. This is a smaller machine but is also self-propelled. It ejects the shreddings much like a chipper – shooting them out with a strong blast of air. This makes collecting them a bit of a challenge but the strong air flow and the fact it does not have a perforated screen inside makes it much less prone to getting blocked with the sappy green stuff.
Our sieving machine was a cast out from the local golf course. It was used to sieve the sand for the bunkers and was adapted by one of our volunteers, a skilled mechanic, to handle our compost. It has given us years of service.
Footnote: All three machines are working well and in use every week. May 2022