Wreathcycling: Composting and Wreaths - Composting at Christmas
9 December 2012 | HOTBIN Composting
12 Days of HOTBIN Composting
There are many types of wreath but those associated with the festive period are commonly made from evergreens to symbolise strength and longevity as they survive the cold harsh winters. Traditionally like vintage Christmas cards, wreaths serve as a promise of the Spring to come and include berries to ignite some colour and brightness.
Today, wreaths are made from a multitude of different materials which include everything from pine cones and cinnamon sticks to holly and berries, all of which can be composted except for any wire/metal elements.
What Goes In?
Some parts will be slower to compost such as pine cones, moss, willow, spruce, holy and twigs. We recommend preferably breaking up pine cones before adding to the HOTBIN and only adding moss in small quantities ensuring it’s well mixed in with other easy to digest waste.
Twigs provide a good source of aeration creating air spaces in the waste. Ideally chopped up into small pieces that are less than 4cm, twigs can even be processed through a chipper and will in both cases act as bulking agent as long as they are dry.
As with all leaves holly should be shredded before adding to the HOTBIN, this is even more important for plants that have waxy leaves. The protective waxy layer makes it harder for bacteria to break them down. Shredding increases the surface area visible to bacteria and in turn increases the speed of breakdown.
Ensure leaves are mixed in well with new waste and avoid adding a thick layer that could restrict airflow through the bin.
Cinnamon sticks and berries are easily composted and unlike wormeries, where acidic food stuffs should not be added, citrus fruit and peel can be added into the HOTBIN.
If you have any bows or ribbons from a wreath that are made from natural materials and you are unable to reuse them then these will compost too. Be aware though that it may take a little time for them to fully compost as per this experiment to compost a jumper in a HOTBIN!
Collecting and Using Liquid Fertiliser (Leachate)
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