Green Waste Compost – is it any good? Diary of a Rocket Gardener

The Rocket Gardens customer services team asked me if I could cover this topic as they’ve been asked it a couple of times recently. Green Waste Compost is usually available somewhere locally, where the ‘green waste’ recycling is collected and composted. I have used it before, from a centre in Cornwall, so here are some honest thoughts to help you decide whether or not to give it a go.


  1. It is affordable.
    This made it a good option for me when I was starting out ‘no dig’ and wanted to use a fairly large volume of compost to heavily mulch beds. I can’t remember what I paid, but I do remember it was significantly cheaper than buying bags of compost from the garden centre. I have checked the cost now, and can see that it is about £30 – £35 for 1 cubic metre of compost.
  2. It is easy.
    Here in Cornwall, it’s easy to get it delivered, so that makes it quite an easy option, especially if you don’t have your own car (or a very small car that is not suitable for transporting lots of bags of compost!) I’m sure this is the case across most of the UK.


  1. It doesn’t seem very nutrient-rich
    I’m sure there is plenty of blurb on the green waste websites that mentions what good quality it is, but in my experience the quality is not great. If you did decide to use it, I’d suggest mixing it with something else, just to try and improve the quality a little. I ended up feeding my veg with extra liquid feed and that seemed to keep them quite happy, but I think if you could mix in some well rotted manure or additional good quality compost that would be a good option.
  2. You don’t know what you’re going to get
    I did find odd specks of plastic sometimes and the first load I got was much heavier in consistency than the second load which was finer and lost moisture faster. You just never really know. If you’re going to be digging it into your soil, then I guess it wouldn’t matter so much, but for no-dig and mulching, I found it was a bit hit and miss. I’m also unsure how ‘clean’ the compost is and would advise doing your own research on this – if there is a chance that pesticide infected crops have been used in the compost making process, then how does one know if the pesticide is no longer active etc etc. Definitely worth considering that.

Overall, I’d say that if you’re on a budget and trying to get a larger plot on the go, it could be really helpful to at least consider using green waste compost, but do be aware that it may not be the kind of pure, organic, nutritious compost that you’re imagining, and do some asking around first to make sure you’re happy with what you’re getting! Due diligence and all that!