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By Mageth

sussex, United Kingdom Gb

every week I clean out two guinea pig hutches and amass a black bag of waste,mainly softwood chip. I dont have space in my compost bins for this and the council will not allow it in the green bin. does anyone have any ideas for using this sort of waste in the garden?



I must admit in the summer i intermix it with some of the grass clippings in the garden waste bin. our council give mixed messages. in the literature it says no pet bedding but when i rang and said it was sawdust, rabbit poo and straw/hay bedding they said it could go in. they said no pet bedding coz many small animals use synthetic bedding that doesnt rot down or paper shreddings.
have you tried putting it in and see if they take it? What do you use for bedding?

A small bonfire if it was dry enough would give you some potash to add but I agree storing it is the biggest problem. why not ring the council and explain it is all biodegradable and is no different to shrub shreddings. thats the argument i used.

24 Jan, 2010


thanks sea. I dont use synthetic bedding and it would be great to mix in with the green bin. i have 3 compost bins and a wormery so I think Im doing my bit. I will contact the council asap

24 Jan, 2010


Do you really have no space to put another compost bin (such as a plastic cone) as it's a pity not to use what must be very valuable compost? If you add some water and green waste, it shouldn't take long for the bedding material to rot down, making more space in the bin.
The alternative is to use this as a surface mulch, if it isn't too unsightly. Contrary to popular belief, wood chips don't rob nitrogen from the soil unless they are dug in. This would help suppress weeds around your plants and eventually break down to improve the soil.

24 Jan, 2010


they do rot but the form isnt as crumbly as the other compost. they would look awfulas a surface mulch in my opinion as the sawdust /chippings are very bright. I have 6 bins and no more space for others and i do put some into the garden bin, especially in the winter when there is little else going in the compost bin.

24 Jan, 2010


dont fancy using it as a mulch bertie, it would look awful. my garden is the standard small suburban type and we really dont have the space for another bin. if the council wont let me put it in the green bin I suppose I could use my existing bins when i have emptied them in the spring and see how long it takes to fill them up. after that it will have to be landfilled which seems mad.

24 Jan, 2010


It's a shame you are so far away from me Mageth, I have just taken on an allotment and would take it to add to a compost heap. Perhaps you could contact your local allotments and see if they would take it? Take a representative sample (about a carrier bag full?) with you and let them see for themselves what it's like! I have found them to be really helpful and willing to use most things as compost/soil improver.

24 Jan, 2010


thanks Ian. that could be a solution

24 Jan, 2010


It's worth a go. I don't know what they will think of the ides but we do use horse and cow manure to improve the soil!

24 Jan, 2010

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