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Watch composting tips from our expert gardener, Catherine Cutler

At Eden we believe passionately in composting: we compost over 150 tonnes of waste each year, which is used to improve the soil in our Biomes and on our gardens across the site.

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A huge on-site composter, installed in 2005, converts food waste created here into a nitrogen-rich soil enhancement that our gardeners use to feed their impressive collection of plants. 

A valuable by-product

During the 80-day aerobic composting process the contents reach more than 60 degrees C. What comes out is a potent material that’s either mixed with soil or used as a mulch. 

Before Eden opened in 2001, our gardening team created 83,000 tonnes of soil, by mixing waste from the former china clay pit with green compost, to turn the site into a landscape capable of sustaining plants from all over the world.

Why Eden composts

At Eden the whole composting process is a great educational tool for visitors, because they see the journey of their food from the plate through to the plant. It starts as they sort waste from their trays into different containers, and ends as they pass the composting plant which has been deliberately sited near one of the public car parks. It’s Eden’s version of alchemy.

We're able to deal with about two-thirds of our food waste in this aerobic composter. The final third is turned into electricity and heat at a local anaerobic digestion plant.