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Talkback: Composting cardboard

I want to resume composting now I have moved house. However, my husband fears rats are attracted to compost heaps. Please reassure him this is not so.


  • Of course rats can be anywhere, but provided you only put green waste from the kitchen and garden onto your heap there is no reason why rats should be attracted.

    I've never had rats in any of my 6 compost bins. However, rats love decking, and my neighbours had a family under their's! Apparently the rise in decking has been far more attractive to rats than compost heaps!

  • Use your toilet rolls as pots to sow peas, sweetcorn etc, plant the toilet roll when seedlings are ready and no root disturbance.
  • We have been composting "basics" for a while now and we did recently have problems with rats. However, my friend told me about covering the base of the compost bin with wire netting and letting it come up the sides of the bin (we have a black plastic bin). This so far has done the trick - the rats can not burrow in from the sides or from below.
  • I find the compost heap a great place to dispose of all the confidential parts of mail, well shredded first then topped with plenty of kitchen peelings and tea bags. So far I've had no problem with rats.
  • I have had major problems with rats this winter and early spring, all due to next door's shed only been a few inches from the ground and I had them in my compost heap,however,I solved the problem by placing stones/bricks around the base of the compost heap and this has stopped them form digging under the compost base. I have now managed to get the rat problem under control.
  • In last month's GW magazine, there was a letter from a reader giving the web address of a company who recycle plastic wrappings. Unfortunately, I've lost the address - can anyone help?
  • I also compost cardboard, newspaper and eggboxes. Recently one eggbox still had an out of date egg in it.To my amazement a couple of weeks after throwing this eggbox onto my compost heap I found the egg buried, intact, in a nearby vegetable bed! Was this egg taken and buried by a fox or squirrel(both of which visit the garden)?
  • Hello Ruth, the company you're looking for is called Polyprint Mailings Films Ltd, who accept recycled polythen wrapping. They're based at: Mackintosh Road, Rackheath Industrial Estate, Rackheath, Norwich NR13 6LJ.
  • Not sure if its the same company but I send all my plastic periodical wrappings from work to a company called:

    RR Flexco,6 - 10 Concorde Road,Norwich,Norfolk,
    NR6 6BW

  • I am new to composting and last November started my first bin and understand that compost should be ready or start to be ready about 6 months after first starting which is about now. So today I opened the bottom hatch and there seemed to be a layer of brown mixture on the bottom, but a lot of uncomposted stuff on the top. One of my problems is that I can't lean far enough into the bin and dig in to stir it - I have a stick activator and so a lot of stuff is turned over lightly. Would adding an Organic Compost Maker be a good idea? Any suggestions/tips would be appreciated.
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