Find the right site
Ideally site your compost bin in a reasonably sunny site on bare soil. If you have to put your compost bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs ensure there's a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom. Choose a place where you can easily add ingredients to the bin and get the compost out.
Add the right ingredients
Have a container available such as a kitchen caddy or old ice cream tub. Fill your kitchen caddy or container with everything from vegetable and fruit peelings to teabags, toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes and eggshells.
Take care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish.
Fill it up
Empty your kitchen caddy along with your garden waste into your compost bin. A 50/50 mix of greens and browns is the perfect recipe for good compost.
Wait a while
It takes between nine and twelve months for your compost to become ready for use, so now all you need to do is wait and let nature do the work. Keep on adding greens and browns to top up your compost.
If you need tips on how to speed up your compost, read our making compost FAQs.
Ready for use
Once your compost has turned into a crumbly, dark material, resembling thick, moist soil and gives off an earthy, fresh aroma, you know it's ready to use.
Removing the compost
Lift the bin slightly or open the hatch at the bottom and scoop out the fresh compost with a garden fork, spade or trowel.
Don't worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshell – this is perfectly normal. Use it to enrich borders and vegetable patches, plant up patio containers or feed the lawn.