Go green-fingered!

With the season of cutting, clipping and clearing now upon us, it pays to start composting

Go green-fingered!

Creating a compost bin helps save the environment by recycling garden and kitchen waste back into the soil, and it also saves you pennies and pounds on expensive fertilisers and bagged compost. Best of all, it doesn't cost the earth to create one.

• It's worth getting in touch with your local council first, as many offer free compost bins or sell them at a reduced rate.

• If you can't get hold of one cheaply, then simply DIY! For a quick and portable compost bin secure a length of galvanised chicken wire together to create a large loo-roll shape, and you can immediately start adding leaves and grass clippings.

• Compost bins work best, however, if you can create a bit of heat to activate the decomposition, so use strips of cardboard or old carpet as walls (eventually, these walls will decompose too, but they'll be easy to replace).

• Old pallets are a sturdier solution (ask for spare ones from warehouses or builders' yards, or log on to www.freecycle.org to see if anyone will do a swap with you). Use four pallets to form a box and tie them together with wire, or make them more secure by using brackets or posts in the corners, and adding a gate.

Log on to www.recyclenow.com for handy hints and tips on composting.

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