The principal goal of composting is to recycle organic matter on the spot, without the awful waste of energy involved in moving it around the country first. Therefore, imported materials should not be added routinely to the compost heap. On the other hand, if there are local sources of composting ingredients that are available cheaply, or perhaps even free, it would be foolish to ignore them.
If your organic waste goes to a local composting scheme, it will be composted at a high temperature under controlled conditions. The resulting compost will be a clean, safe, weed-free material that can be bought and used straightaway in the garden. However, in common with other commercial soil conditioners that are based on recycled garden or forestry waste, it tends to be slightly alkaline, so is not suitable for use around rhododendrons or other acid-loving plants.
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