Compost Week

compost Week 2021 will run from the 15th to the 21st of march this year. Compost Week UK celebrates the benefits of composting and encourages the UK to be rotter's. Compost is nutrient-rich material that can transform your soil and give plants a dramatic boost.

Thank you for your interest in International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) 2021

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. It is celebrated nationwide and in other countries each year during the first full week of May. Started in Canada in 1995, ICAW has continued to grow as more people, businesses, municipalities, schools and organizations are recognizing the importance of composting and the long-term benefits from organics recycling. The goal of the program is to raise the awareness of the public regarding the benefits of using compost. The program includes a poster contest in the fall and activities and events held during the week in May.

Throughout the week of ICAW, community and business events are held to encourage and celebrate composting. All types of composting – from backyard to large-scale are promoted. Events include tours of compost facilities, school gardening programs, compost workshops, lectures by a well-known gardening expert, compost give-away days, state and city proclamations, visiting with legislators, and lots of lots of sharing information on social media.

Each year, a theme is chosen. The theme for 2021 in the United States is Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat. The theme is used for the Poster Contest, which encourages artists throughout the world to create a design sharing the importance of composting and compost use. There is also a video contest for children in 4th – 8th grade (ages 10 and up).

The ICAW 2021 theme is based on the circular movement of the organics recycling process flowing from farm to table to farm again. This circular process turns recycled organic materials into compost which creates healthy soils leading to more nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, with that waste going back to being composted and the process starts again. Compost adds carbon back into the soil, promotes erosion control and closes the loop by avoiding the loss of valuable organic resources. From on-farm composting, large-scale commercial composting facilities to community composting and composting in backyards, this amazing resource provides an ecologically responsible option for managing our organic materials. This year’s ICAW 2021 theme, Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat, empowers us to recognize and promote the importance of composting and the use of compost in growing healthier food, supporting healthier soils and, ultimately, creating a more just and sustainable world.

To learn more about how you can get involved with ICAW or plan an event in your community, click here to read the attachment Celebrate ICAW Manual. You can also look on the event page for more event ideas which is updated with plans across the country as we get closer to ICAW. Many companies strongly support ICAW each year by becoming an ICAW sponsor. We would like to thank all the 2020 ICAW sponsors. If you would like to be an ICAW 2021 sponsor , contact Beth Simone,

Browse the Compost Week menu for tools, resources and ideas to help YOU celebrate International Compost Awareness Week!

What to do

Making compost

  • Once you have chosen a compost bin and site for it there are a few simple rules to follow. Ideally start your compost bin in spring and for best results combine a mixture of soft, green, nitrogen-rich material and dry, brown, carbon-rich material in roughly even quantities. The main rule is not to let one material dominate the heap. A glut of autumn leaves will decompose very slowly and would be better used making leaf mould.

  • Place the more woody material at the bottom to help with air circulation and layers of different materials at least 30cm deep. Shred larger items so they decompose more easily and if the waste is very dry, spray with water to moisten the pile, but do not soak it.

  • Keep adding to this initial pile at regular intervals. When the heap or bin is full, it will start to heat up as the decomposition process gets underway. After a couple of weeks when it begins to cool down, turn the heap with a fork, mixing up the contents thoroughly and adding water if it is drying out. If turned regularly and in warm conditions your compost will be ready in about 2-4 months.

  • A heap left unattended and using bulkier, unshredded material may take over a year to fully decompose. When the compost is finished, the pile will be about half its original size and have an earthy smell to it.

  • If you want a fast turnaround, create a hot compost heap by adding nitrogen, moisture and turning the heap regularly to improve the air circulation. When the heap begins to cool down slightly, turn the heap to introduce oxygen and undecomposed material into the centre and regenerate heating. The composting process is complete when mixing no longer produces heat in the pile

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