Garden Waste

There are several ways you can manage your garden waste, including home composting, grass-cycling or taking to a Recycling Centre. More information on these options can be found below.

Home composting

Home composting is an easy way to reduce the amount of household waste you generate as well as producing a rich compost which is a useful free resource for the garden and will save you buying specialist products.

You can compost most kitchen and garden waste at home which will save you buying bags of soil conditioner or compost. If you leave organic material such as grass cuttings, prunings, dead plants and kitchen waste (fruit, vegetables, tea bags and egg shells) in a compost bin it will rot down into a rich compost for your garden.

Composting at home also helps to reduce the amount of waste created in Dumfries and Galloway. Households using compost bins help towards reducing the amount of green waste being transported around the region for treatment and sent to landfill.

Compost heaps / compost bins

Traditional compost bin heaps can also be used to compost garden waste at home by having a dedicated area in your garden for your compost heaps.

Get Started

Getting a good quality home-made compost can be achieved by putting the right mix of items into your compost bin, it's a bit like a recipe! Compost bins need a mix of 50% 'green' materials and 50% 'brown' materials.

Green materials rot quickly, are rich in nitrogen and provide moisture to the compost heap.

Brown materials are slower to rot, are rich in carbon and as well as creating air pockets in the mixture to help the organisms living there to breathe, they provide fibre.

Here are some examples of green and brown materials:

Green Materials (50%)

Brown Materials (50%)

  • Grass cuttings
  • Leaves
  • Left overs and peelings from fruit
  • Vegetable peeling
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Annual weeds
  • Old flowers
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Nettles
  • Comfrey leaves
  • Egg shells
  • Branches
  • Twigs
  • Crushed up egg boxes
  • Scrunched up cardboard/newspaper
  • Toilet roll tubes

If you need some advice on getting started with home composting, visit

You might even want to make your own compost bin:


Grass-cycling is a way of reducing household garden waste and benefiting the environment.

Grass-cycling is not a new concept - many golf courses and parks have practised grass-cycling for years and is a responsible environmental practise.

How to Grass-cycle

  • Remove the grass catcher from our lawn mower (in accordance with the manufacturers instructions) and allow the grass cuttings to fall directly on the lawn
  • Use a sharp mower blade - blunt blades tear the grass, giving it a brownish colour and contribute to lawn disease
  • Mow when the grass is dry. On a sunny or windy day, it is surprising how much the grass cuttings will reduce in size on the lawn.
  • If you find that you do have an excess of grass cuttings, prevent them from forming clumps by placing these excess cuttings over soil in your garden to act as a mulch cover to help control weeds and maintain soil moisture.

Benefits of Grass-cycling

Even if you grass-cycle occasionally, it will help towards reducing the environmental impacts associated with managing this waste in Dumfries and Galloway. Grass cuttings can form a large portion of the waste that households with lawns produce, especially during spring, summer and autumn months. By leaving grass cuttings on your lawn you can reduce the amount of waste that needs to be collected, processed, or disposed of in the region.

Grass cuttings also act as a natural lawn fertiliser as they contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are put back into your lawn each time you mow.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

You can take garden waste to one of 12 Recycling Centres across Dumfries and Galloway.  You must book a time slot prior to visiting.  You can do this online Recycling centres - Dumfries and Galloway Council ( or by calling 030 33 3 3 3000.

Find out more here

Non-recyclable Bin

If you are unable to home compost or take to a recycling centre, small quantities of garden waste can be placed in your non-recyclable waste bin or refuse sacks. This will be sent to the Council's Ecodeco facility where it may be extracted to produce soil for capping landfill sites, or processed into an energy from waste fuel. Please do not place soil or dirt in your non-recyclable waste bin - this should be taken to a recycling centre.

Page last updated: 31/05/2022
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