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Updated: Oct 3, 2023


The History of Compost

The practice of composting dates back several millennia. However, the first recorded use of a tonne of compost in a construction or building project can be traced back to the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, around 600 BC. According to historical accounts, King Nebuchadnezzar II utilized compost to enrich the soil used in the construction of the gardens (Dudley, 1985).

A pile of compost on a path
A pile of compost on a path

Manufacturing process of a Tonne of Compost

The process of manufacturing a tonne of compost involves several critical steps (Epstein, 1997):

  1. Collection of Organic Waste: It starts with the collection of organic waste materials such as plant debris, animal manure, kitchen waste, etc.

  2. Shredding: The collected waste is then shredded to reduce its size, which aids in the speed and efficiency of the composting process (Martin & Gershuny, 1992).

  3. Formation of Composting Pile: The shredded organic material is then arranged into a composting pile. The pile's design should facilitate optimal aeration and moisture content (Brinton, 2000).

  4. Turning and Aeration: Regular turning and aeration of the compost pile is necessary to provide oxygen for the microbial activity, which leads to the breakdown of organic materials (Epstein, 1997).

  5. Maturation: After the compost pile has adequately decomposed, it is left to mature. This maturation phase allows for the stabilization of nutrients and organic compounds (Martin & Gershuny, 1992).

  6. Screening: Following maturation, the compost is screened to remove any large, undecomposed items.

  7. Packaging: The final step is the packaging of the finished compost product.

The Price of an Average Tonne of Compost in the UK

In the United Kingdom, the price of compost varies across the four countries - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The following are the estimated price ranges for an average tonne of compost:

  1. England: The price for a tonne of compost in England ranges from £40 to £100 (Green Waste Club, 2021).

  2. Scotland: In Scotland, compost costs between £45 and £110 per tonne (Soil Association, 2021).

  3. Wales: A tonne of compost in Wales can cost anywhere from £35 to £90 (Recycle for Wales, 2021).

  4. Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland sees compost prices ranging from £50 to £120 per tonne (Northern Ireland Environment Agency, 2021).

These prices are subject to change due to factors such as the type of compost, location, and supplier.

Different Types of a Tonne of Compost

Compost can be classified into various types depending on the raw materials used in its creation.

  1. Green Compost: This type of compost is typically made from green garden waste, such as grass clippings, leaves, and plant cuttings. It is rich in nitrogen, making it ideal for promoting leafy growth (Royal Horticultural Society, 2021).

  2. Brown Compost: This compost is derived from brown garden waste, such as branches, twigs, and bark. It is high in carbon, which makes it great for improving soil structure and water retention (Royal Horticultural Society, 2021).

  3. Food Waste Compost: This compost is made from leftover food scraps like fruit peels, vegetable scraps, and coffee grounds. It is rich in nutrients and ideal for enriching soil (Environmental Protection Agency, 2021).

  4. Manure Compost: This type of compost is made from animal waste, often from cows, horses, or chickens. It is a fantastic source of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, and is excellent for improving soil fertility (Cornell University, 2021).

If you're interested to understand how you can get the up-to-date prices of a tonne of compost, or a delivery of several tonnes of compost, then head to to get started. There, you'll be able to create your Bill of Materials an instantly compare prices from several suppliers in seconds.

Different Manufacturers of Compost

A variety of manufacturers produce compost across the globe, each offering unique blends and proprietary composting methods.

  1. Miracle-Gro: A highly recognized name in the gardening world, Miracle-Gro produces a variety of compost products for different gardening needs. They are known for their superior quality and nutrient-rich composts, designed to promote strong plant growth (Miracle-Gro, 2021).

  2. Scotts: Scotts is a leading manufacturer who are known for their eco-friendly practices and high-quality compost. Their compost products are derived from organic materials and are ideal for improving soil fertility (Scotts, 2021).

  3. Vital Earth: A UK based company, Vital Earth specializes in peat-free composts. Their compost mixtures are made using garden waste, catering to a variety of plants and gardening needs (Vital Earth, 2021).

  4. Compost Direct: Another UK manufacturer, Compost Direct offers bulk compost, soil improvers, and mulches. They are known for their organic and environmentally friendly compost products (Compost Direct, 2021).


  • Dudley, N. (1985). 'The Hanging Gardens of Babylon', Archaeology, 48(1), pp. 44-50.

  • Brinton, W. (2000). 'Compost Quality Standards and Guidelines', Woods End Research Laboratory.

  • Epstein, E. (1997). 'The Science of Composting', Technomic Publishing.

  • Martin, D., & Gershuny, G. (1992). 'The Rodale Book of Composting', Rodale Books.

  • Green Waste Club. (2021). 'Price of Compost in England', Green Waste Club.

  • Soil Association. (2021). 'Price of Compost in Scotland', Soil Association.

  • Recycle for Wales. (2021). 'Price of Compost in Wales', Recycle for Wales.

  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency. (2021). 'Price of Compost in Northern Ireland', Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

  • Royal Horticultural Society. (2021). 'Green and Brown Composting', Royal Horticultural Society.

  • Environmental Protection Agency. (2021). 'Composting at Home', Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Cornell University. (2021). 'Using Manure as Compost', Cornell University.

  • Miracle-Gro. (2021). Compost Products. Retrieved from

  • Scotts. (2021). Compost and Soil. Retrieved from

  • Vital Earth. (2021). Peat-Free Compost. Retrieved from

  • Compost Direct. (2021). Bulk Compost and Mulches. Retrieved from

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