Community composting with the Compost Doctor

Food%20Tumbler%20LambethWould you like to start composting but don’t know how to start? The Compost Doctor can help you to find a space on your estate or in your local community and support you to get a successful composting scheme up and running.

There is a range of options to suit different spaces and needs, from small garden composters to larger units that can also compost food waste.

Composting has many benefits. It is cost effective and easy to do and it allows you to deal with your waste locally, meaning that it doesn’t have to be transported and processed elsewhere. It also enables you to transform your leftover food and garden waste into a useful soil improver or liquid feed that can be used on your gardens and allotments.

A garden compost bin is a mini eco-system, with microscopic organisms doing all the hard work and the key is giving them the right balance of ingredients such as ‘green’ ( waste which contains nitrogen) and ‘brown’ (e.g.fallen leaves/shredded paper which contain carbon).

So, if you think it could work in your local community, please get in touch.

If you are interested in finding out more about the community and estates composting schemes, visit our composting pages on our website or contact our Compost Doctor, who will be happy to advise you on the most suitable option.

Reduced-price garden compost bins, wormeries, kitchen (bokashi) composters, and water butts are available through our partner, Straight plc. For further information or to place an order see the Get composting website or call them on 0844 571 4444.


4 Responses to Community composting with the Compost Doctor

  1. James Mack says:

    What a silly and badly-timed post: I contacted Lambeth Council three weeks ago to report a stolen street food recycling bin. I was assured that another would be provided within a week. On contacting the call centre today, I was told that it had been removed as you have cancelled the estates food recycling programme.

    So you want to encourage composting as ‘composting has many benefits’ – while at the same time cancelling the only composting option for those of us living in flats? Absurd!

    • environmentlambeth says:

      Dear James

      Thank you for your comment. We recently reviewed the estate food waste service and found that it wasn’t fully meeting residents’ needs. There were low levels of participation and we were experiencing high levels of contamination from general litter and plastic bags, meaning that the contents were unsuitable for composting.

      We wrote to all residents regarding the changes and outlined the plans for our community composting scheme, which also applies to estates. The scheme will enable you to compost food waste on your estate – resulting in a free and constant supply of compost for use on your estate gardens, beds and allotments.

      We can provide everything you need to start a successful composting programme on your estate, assist with getting started and offer ongoing support.

      If you are interested in starting the scheme on your estate or would like to find out more please email

      Many thanks

  2. James Mack says:

    Thanks for the response. One point to note, firstly: you didn’t write to everyone affected (as I didn’t receive a response) and the council’s waste department was not briefed properly on changes (as I received the wrong advice first time round). Could you put a copy of all review documentation on your website for affected residents to review?

    Second: what was the annual budget for the estate food waste service; and what is the annual budget for the community composting scheme?

  3. environmentlambeth says:

    Dear James

    Letters were sent out to all estates on 21 May. I am sorry that you didn’t receive your copy. Please also accept my apologies for the confusion caused when you spoke to our call centre. They had been fully briefed, so I will ensure that details of the service continue to reach our front line staff.

    Review documentation is currently available on our website:

    There wasn’t an annual budget for the estate food waste service as the estate bins were emptied as part of the food waste round along with street level properties. It isn’t possible for us to separate out the cost.

    The new Ridan composters, which will be used for the community composting scheme will be purchased with a Department for Communities and Local Government grant, so there will be no cost to Lambeth residents.

    We have one estate currently taking the proposals forward seriously.

    With kind regards

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