Tips to deal with fruit fly nuisance

One summer several years ago our house was besieged by an infestation of fruit flies, the source of which was eventually tracked down to a rotting, black banana under my teenage son’s bed.  It is known in the family as Bananagate and is still referred to even though the son in question is now nearly 30.

If fruit flies happen to you once, you will make sure they never happen again. They are a common nuisance in the UK, affecting more than 60% of households.  Each female may lay as many as 500 eggs and they proliferate quickly.  

They’re most common in summer and autumn because they’re attracted to ripe and rotting food, especially bananas, melon, tomatoes, squash and apples. The smell attracts adult flies, which lay their microscopic eggs in the fruit skins. The eggs might already be present in fruit that you buy or get from the garden. If you then put the rotting fruit or peel into your food waste caddy and then into your garden composter you might be unwittingly transferring fruit fly eggs to the compost to hatch out later when the temperature is right.  

Good composting management usually keeps flies away.   

A few flies can be beneficial since in the compost food web they are considered physical decomposers, helping to break down compost material. Their eggs are also a source of food for other compost creatures. But flies breed fast and if there are a lot of them it’s both a nuisance and a sign that something has gone wrong. 

Their presence is likely due to the following issues in the bin:

  • Lack of oxygen – when there is not enough air, composting is slow and the temperature drops – conditions which attract flies. So add oxygen by aerating with an aerator stick. You can also poke holes in the compost with an iron bar. Deep aeration also disturbs the fly reproductive cycle; some types breed every five days. Raise the temperature by fitting the Insulating Jacket on the Green Johanna and adding bokashi bran, which will introduce more beneficial microbes and speed up decomposition.
  • Too much moisture – the water content should be about 50 per cent. If there is more water than this, it can force air out, which leads to anaerobic conditions (without air) causing slow decomposition and bad smells, which attract flies. You can monitor compost moisture levels by testing with a moisture meter or by squeezing it in your hands. If it feels like a wrung-out sponge, it has the right consistency. There should only be one or two drops of liquid visible. If it’s wetter than this, add some absorbent material such as shredded paper or sawdust and aerate.
  • Imbalance of materials – a mixture of materials high in carbon (Browns) and nitrogen (Greens) is essential for active composting. Aim for roughly half and half of both.  
  • Poorly-covered nitrogen-rich materials (Greens) – bury smelly foods in the compost, wrapped in newspaper if possible. Create a covering layer over the top to capture smells. This can include straw, sawdust, wood chips or mature compost.  A fly-proof mesh over the top of the contents will keep flies out while allowing air in.  

As the compost becomes active, with raised temperature and faster decomposition, the fly infestation should end.

A word about fruit waste

If you add large amounts of fruit waste to your composter be aware that this will be high in water content. To avoid making the compost too wet (which attracts flies) it should be well mixed with equal amounts of dry carbon-rich content, such as woody garden waste, dead leaves, shredded paper/cardboard, wood chips, sawdust. An equal addition of sawdust, for instance, would be an effective way to absorb some of the moisture in fruit waste.

To avoid attracting flies, reduce the smell of fruit by wrapping it in newspaper and burying it in the existing compost, then cover with carbon-rich content and add mature compost or soil over the top. 

 Take these steps to reduce the chance of attracting flies.

In the home

  • Because fruit flies lay eggs on exposed food, take care to keep food stored in a fridge or lidded containers, not out in the open in fruit bowls.
  • Use up ripe fruit and vegetables as soon as possible.
  • Compost organic matter quickly as flies are attracted by the smell of decomposing food.
  • Keep stored waste in a lidded kitchen caddy. Always keep the lid on your caddy, even between new additions of waste as you are preparing food.

In the compost bin

Follow the steps mentioned above regarding composting management and also:

  • Add more carbon-rich materials (woody garden waste/shredded paper/cardboard/wood chips), and mix in well so that any food waste is covered.
  • Top the contents with a layer of fresh soil.
  • Try putting the composter in sunlight – flies like a warm but not hot environment.
  • Make sure that you always lock the lid securely.
  • Take care not to spill any food around the composter.
  • Monitor acidity – if you have added a lot of fermented content from a bokashi bin to your composter, add a handful of crushed baked eggshells to neutralise excessive acidic conditions as flies prefer a low (acidic) pH.
  • Flies don’t like the smell of certain plants – peppermint in particular – so you could add sprigs of peppermint to your waste and wipe round the compost bin with lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils.
  • Leave the lid off the bin for a while to allow predators such as ground beetles, rove beetles and earwigs easy access to the flies.
  • Use nematodes – microscopic worms that feed on fly larvae in soil.  

In the Green Cone

 In the case of the Green Cone Food Waste Digester, no garden waste can be added as the Cone only accepts food waste, so covering with garden and paper waste is not an option.

Because the Cone’s basket is underground, smells are filtered out by the surrounding soil, meaning there is no obvious attraction for ordinary flies. But if fruit fly eggs are already in fruit skins when added to the Cone, they might hatch inside it. Avoid this by following the advice above on preventing infestations in the home.

Also:

  •  Freeze your fruit and veg scraps in a plastic bag or container overnight to kill any eggs or larvae before adding them to the Cone.
  • Flies don’t like the smell of certain plants – peppermint in particular – so you could add sprigs of peppermint to your waste and wipe round the Cone with lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils.
  • Add accelerator powder to add more beneficial bacteria to speed up decomposition.
  • Remember food waste should never come higher than the top of the Cone’s underground basket; waste should always be below ground level.

 Get trap happy

You could also try a home-made trap that will act as a magnet.

Add an inch of apple cider vinegar to a glass jar with two drops of washing up liquid. Put a plastic wrap cover over the top of the jar and poke small holes through with a toothpick. Flies are attracted by the smell and can get in but can’t get out. Remember to change the liquid regularly to keep the fly trap working.

If all else fails, consider disposable fly traps which come pre-filled with bait or attractant and can be placed in the bin. Be aware that these may also kill other beneficial decomposers in the compost.                                                            

Keep food covered to discourage fruit flies.

The book that will keep you composting

You might expect anything written about composting to be down to earth (pun intended) but if you read a lot on the subject, as we do, you’ll know that’s not always the case.

Sometimes you come away from an article thinking you must need a PhD to compost. You wonder how Mother Nature manages without the aid of a spreadsheet and calculator for tracking temperatures and working out ratios. If spreadsheets and calculators are your thing, don’t let us stop you (some of the GGS team are guilty as charged).

But most of us just want simple advice we can follow. That’s why at Great Green Systems we often point customers towards Master Composter Rod Weston’s website (carryoncomposting.com) because it offers straight-forward, practical guidance. So we were delighted to learn that Rod has turned his knowledge into a book.

The Great Green team love this book and anyone who is into composting, or could be with a little encouragement, will love it too. It gives the lowdown on just about every compost bin going so it helps you to understand your own bin better or to choose one that will work best for you.

Rod hopes the book will encourage householders to compost their organic waste ‘and most importantly, to continue composting.’ He acknowledges that people new to composting may encounter various problems while trying to master the craft, but by showing different techniques to deal with issues he hopes to help new recruits to persevere.

‘The key message is to keep composting, whatever style you adopt,’ he says. ‘All techniques can be modified to suit your own particular circumstances.’

He also hopes to encourage groups to set up small-scale community composting on allotments, at schools, and on community gardens. He points out that if garden and catering waste can be dealt with on site, the environmental costs of transporting it to a central location for processing can be avoided.

We recently paid Rod a visit at the Stokes Wood Allotment site in Leicester, which includes a demonstration site that is home to every composter you can think of. Rod demonstrates different bins and techniques to the public.  

The site provides a community composting service for allotment plot holders and also takes food waste from the café on site. Plot holders leave their waste for composting in designated spots and can take compost (and liquid feed) for their own use when it’s ready.

Working bays and bins at Stokes Wood Allotments composting demonstration site

Rod’s book also explains the idea behind the Master Composters scheme. In 2004 around 40 per cent of householders who had started home composting gave up because of a lack of knowledge. Almost two decades later, councils and others now produce information and train Master Composters to provide support. This has resulted in a reduction in the dropout rate to between 8 and 14 per cent. In more recent years this has reduced again to 3.9 per cent. Obviously the scheme has been a great success.

Like many of his generation, as a child Rod helped his father on his allotment ‘in the days when allotments were an important piece of ground that played a major role in providing fruit and vegetables for the family’.  

Before becoming interested in the environmental aspects of composting, Rod initially composted on his own allotment in order to dispose of garden waste and to use the compost produced as a soil improver. He says it was his wife who first became interested in becoming a Master Composter ‘but then suggested it to me because she thought it would keep me off the streets!’

On our visit we loved talking to Rod about all aspects of composting. It’s so refreshing in this world of uncompromising opinions to hear his relaxed straight-forward views. Like us he’s pleasantly obsessed but not a purist. Rod’s attitude is that we can all compost – you just have to find a system and bin that works for you.  The more people who compost the better it is for all of us and for the planet.

Anyone living in or around Leicester is lucky to have easy access to his talks and demonstrations.

‘If you are interested and want to get involved with your bin, go for hot composting. If you’re lazy or too busy, just go for a cold system,’ he says.

He goes about the business of promoting composting in a practical, fun way, giving talks to garden clubs, allotment societies and schools.  For school visits, when talking about wormeries he takes along some slugs and snails as well as worms, knowing his audience will approve.

Other props are a soft toy rat and dog poo (spoiler alert – it’s fake) which is used to explain the workings of a wormery used for dog poo.

Sitting pretty – on the dog poo wormery

He thinks composting will become more popular as more local authority food waste collections come into operation, since a lot of people could prefer to compost their food waste in their gardens rather than having it waiting for collection by the council.

Rod is a fan of the Green Johanna and has a couple at home as well as one on the site.

‘It just sits there quietly and gets on with its job, breaking stuff down, with no trouble,’  he says approvingly.

Rod told us that badgers from a nearby wood had recently made a nocturnal visit and tried to get into the site’s Green Johanna, but failed.

We inspected the teeth marks on the Johanna’s lid and Insulating Jacket, proud that the Johanna had stood firm. And this Johanna is 13 years old.

Rod shows Mark evidence of the failed badger attack

The site also demonstrates an old Green Cone, which Rod says has never needed emptying or cleaning.

Apparently the number one problem with Green Cones that people ask him about is caused by the owner not having read the instruction manual properly. The manual states that food waste should never come higher than the top of the Cone’s underground basket, so there should never be food waste inside the Cone itself, which is above ground level.  Rod said he has seen Cones that have been filled right to the top like a composter, which would not be a great problem to have to sort out.

How a Green Cone should work – with food waste only in the underground basket

We appreciated this insight and we intend to make this point much clearer in the next edition of the Green Cone manual so that no one can possibly miss it. Although it’s obviously not much good if people don’t read the manual.

In his book, Rod says: ‘There are almost as many ways of composting as there are composters and, despite what might be read online, there is no single right way of doing anything. If what you are doing works, it must be right for you, although, of course, the method may be open to improvement. The main thing is to enjoy your composting in the knowledge that, while you are improving your soil to produce better crops, you are also, in a small way, helping to save the planet. ‘

Wise words from a Master (Composter).

Councils helping residents to compost

Kerbside food waste collections represent a revolution in waste disposal but also in the daily routines of millions of people.  

To date, only around 50% of English local authorities operate a separate food waste collection. But change is coming. Before long, all residents will be separating out food waste from residual waste. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already made the change.

According to WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) national kerbside food waste collections will mean a reduction in greenhouse gases of 1.25 million tonnes per year. 

Those local authorities that have already made the change have succeeded in getting a vital  message across to their residents – food waste recycling really does make a difference. Once you know that food waste in landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, it’s hard to just chuck your apple core in any old bin.

7 Litre Kitchen Caddy

Turning food waste into compost is the single fastest and easiest thing people can do to combat climate change.  So it makes sense that many people want to bring about this incredible transformation themselves, by taking charge of their own food and garden waste and turning it into compost for their garden, allotment or community project.

For almost 20 years, Great Green Systems has been working in partnership with local authorities around the UK, running schemes offering discounted food waste composters to those residents who want to recycle their food waste at source, right in their own gardens.

 Such schemes typically divert an estimated 250kg per family per year from landfill or treatment centres.

In 2020 Cumbria County Council estimated that over five years their scheme offering residents subsidised food waste composters (Green Johannas and Green Cones) had succeeded in diverting more than 5,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, an average of 87 tonnes per month.

Recycling food waste

Green Johannas tend to be chosen by people who want to recycle garden waste as well as food waste, and also produce their own compost.

Green Cones accept only food waste and do not produce compost but a soil conditioner that nourishes the soil in which they are embedded.  Because Green Cones require no stirring or turning, they are often chosen by people who want the simplest possible way of recycling food waste.

The Green Johanna

Judith Bradshaw, waste prevention officer for Cumbria County Council, says:

‘Food waste digesters are a great way to reduce household waste in the county and offer an easy way for the householder to treat their food waste at home. The scheme has been very well received around the county.

‘I purchased a Green Cone to use alongside my existing composter which already works really well. I now have the means to treat all of my food waste, both cooked and uncooked at home, as the two bins complement each other perfectly.’

The Green Cone

Research by WRAP shows that the benefits derived from composting go beyond improved food waste disposal.  When householders take responsibility for their own food and garden waste, a positive attitude to recycling in general usually follows, meaning that other recycling rates also improve.  As people become aware of how much food they throw away, they also tend to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

In addition, an increased awareness of the role that compost plays in helping soil to capture carbon in the atmosphere and store it in the ground, means that people feel they are doing their bit in the fight against the climate crisis.

Different challenges

Every local authority region faces very different challenges with regard to waste disposal. Our partnerships have included local authorities from the length and breadth of the country, from the Scilly Isles to the Orkneys. The geographical areas covered by our partner local authorities are diverse, from large land areas with spread-out populations to urban areas with multi-occupancy residences.

It’s not only homeowners with gardens who benefit from food waste composting. We have seen amazing results with small-scale community composting schemes in housing association complexes.

When 33 Green Johannas were installed across eight flats sites across East and West Sussex and Surrey (run by Housing 21 and Amicus Housing), the communal gardens were not the only things that blossomed. Residents and staff reported that personal well-being and community spirit also flourished. The projects helped to keep people mentally alert and physically active, through taking waste out to the Johannas, crunching up cardboard containers etc. It gave neighbours an added reason to chat to each other, acting as a conversational ice-breaker, not to mention encouraging them to grow their own flowers and food using the free, organic compost they had created.

Environmental benefits

Composting appeals to people for different reasons. For some it’s because they’re enthusiastic gardeners and see making their own free, organic compost as a no-brainer. Others are converted to composting when they learn about its benefit to the environment.

For instance, compost:

  • boosts soil quality
  • prevents soil erosion
  • improves soil drainage
  • absorbs water (slowly releasing it to grass and plants)
  • improves plant productivity and quality
  • helps soil to capture carbon from the air and pull it back into the ground.

According to the charity Garden Organic, the health of the earth’s soils is fundamental to life as we know it, yet half the planet’s topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years. The charity urges people to take simple steps to redress this in their own gardens by regularly topping up beds with compost and ensuring soils are not left bare.

Council officers tend to be composting enthusiasts themselves. 

Debbie Lee, recycling liaison officer for Redbridge Council, sent us an update of her Green Johanna, saying: ‘I am still completely in love with the product. The Green Johanna is one of the most wonderful pieces of waste minimisation there is around!’

Andrew Jenkins, waste prevention team leader at Buckinghamshire Council, says:

‘The Green Johanna and Green Cone are a brilliant way for residents to put their food waste to good use in the garden and it saves food waste being collected and transported by the council.’

Charles Nouhan, recycling and commercial manager for Sevenoaks District Council, says:

‘Green Cone and Green Johanna food digesters remove all food waste produced by a typical UK household. It is a great solution for residents who have a bit of spare space in their gardens, and a huge help to the local council’s efforts to reduce household waste.’

Amy Williams, lead waste technical officer at Wiltshire Council, says: 

‘These composters are a great way of reducing the amount of food waste that is put into residents’ general waste bins, which ultimately reduces the volume of waste that the council has to dispose of.’

The Great Green Systems motto is – Feed the Earth with Your Food Waste. With the help of our local authority partners, we’re proud to be helping thousands of people to do just that.

The long, long life of Green Cones

When people get attached to their food waste digester it quickly becomes a part of family life – wherever they live.

One of our customers, Angela, knew the Green Cone would be essential for the ‘safe, useful, hygienic disposal of kitchen waste’ when they bought an old farmhouse in Spain in 2004. They took the Cone over in their car in 2006.

For several years the family made annual trips to their Spanish house, spending working holidays getting the house and garden ready for their eventual move.

Food waste vanishing act

On one visit a big family birthday was celebrated with 10 guests staying for a full week. The Cone’s underground basket (which is where food waste lands and is digested by micro-organisms) was full after the week, but when the family returned months later they were delighted to find that the basket’s contents had almost completely vanished.

‘We love our Cone and it is really, really useful,’ says Angela.

After all their hard work paid off, they finally relocated to Spain four years ago.

Over the years Angela has seen big changes in attitudes to recycling food waste in Spain.  Kitchen waste in particular needs careful disposal due to the heat and the number of foxes and rodents in the region where they live.

She says: ‘Things have become easier over the past few years as Spain has started to install special organic recycling bins, which have a swing top and drop waste into an underground receptacle that is then cleared very regularly by the council.  

A good ecological cycle

‘So, from nothing less than 20 years ago, we have multiple ways of safe and hygienic organic waste disposal, the most convenient of which is our Cone.

‘To be honest, it is as much of a pleasure to take the bin out to the Cone as it is to go out and pick veggies for supper because it is useful to process things ourselves and know that we are using a good ecological cycle for production and waste.’ 

The couple grow a lot of their own produce and have had to contend with many challenges posed by the climate and mountainous geography. Their Cone has been moved four times, with placement being determined by where there is sufficient depth to bury the basket, which needs to be dug into a hole 54cms deep.

‘When there is torrential rain and it floods over the terrace behind our land it can remove soil down to the bedrock, it was quite a shock the first time we saw this and realised just how little soil covering there is in some places,’ Angela says.

‘As a consequence, we have built raised beds for some of our produce and will be looking to make deeper beds for some others as time goes by.’

The couple have worked the soil by adding wood ash, compost and goat manure from a farm up the road, but Angela believes more fibre is needed and she wants to supplement it with horse manure. A 5000-litre tank for rainwater has been an essential investment.

Things are changing

Angela says the Spanish are becoming much more interested in tending gardens.

 ‘People have been quite interested in our approach (raised beds, adding marigolds for insect control and so on). Possibly they will become more interested in composting as well since many areas have banned burning of waste, partly as a fire hazard and partly air pollution, so things are changing gradually.’

Her family have seen climate change happen before their eyes. When they bought the house in 2004, almonds started to blossom in the third week of January and the family would come over in February for a week to enjoy the beauty.

‘Now they are blooming in December and it is too cold for the bees much of the time. That has happened in less than 20 years.’

Last summer temperatures reached the low 40s. 

Although the Cone is solar powered and requires a sunny spot, the fierce Spanish sun has proved a challenge and as a result the lid needed replacing recently.

Great Green Systems provided a lid free of charge and sent it to Angela’s daughter in the UK for Angela to pick up on a recent visit.

 ‘I must say that we have been surprised and delighted that the actual Cone has lasted brilliantly all these years. We wouldn’t want to be without it.’

Cones go the distance

Although a Cone is expected to last for at least 10 years, here at Great Green Systems we often find that customers report their Cone has lasted a lot longer.

Another couple delighted at the longevity of their Green Cone are Jack and Joan Milner, of Leicestershire.

They tell us that their Cone, which they bought in 2009, is still going strong and it is only now after 13 years that it might need emptying.  They bought the food waste digester as part of a subsidised scheme run by Leicestershire County Council to divert food waste from landfill.

The Milners, now in their eighties, have been delighted to see the Cone digest all their food waste and also benefit their garden thanks to the soil conditioner it produces that has nourished a once-arid patch of garden.   

The oldest Cone that we’ve heard of belongs to a lady in Scotland, who got it through her local authority, Argyll and Bute District Council, 25 years ago.

The customer’s daughter contacted us when the Cone’s lid blew off in the storms of early 2022, and Great Green Systems replaced it free of charge.

 She said: ‘The Cone is still going strong, a real asset in a rural area where there is no specific collection of green and food waste. ‘

If your Cone is even older than this, do let us know!

A long reign in Spain – Angela’s Green Cone outside her Spanish farmhouse.

Life with a Green Cone

Get the basics right and life with a Cone at home is simple and convenient.

The Green Cone’s basic needs are:

  • A sunny spot
  • Well-draining soil (not clay or chalk)
  • Accelerator powder to boost digestion

Where shall I put my Green Cone?

All the instructions you need are included in the instruction manual, but here are a few pointers worth remembering.

When thinking about where to place the Cone, as well as finding a sunny spot it’s a good idea to think about how easy it will be to get to in winter months to empty your kitchen caddy.   

More than 90% of the waste added to the Cone will be turned into water, which must be able to drain freely away for the unit to work properly.

How do I know if I have good drainage?

If you’re not sure whether your soil has good drainage or not, you can check by doing the following: dig the hole required for the Cone (about 70cm wide by 54cm deep) and pour a bucket of water into it. If the water remains for more than 15 minutes you have poor drainage and will need to enlarge the hole to 90cm wide by 70cm deep. Provide extra drainage by mixing soil from the hole with gravel, stones, or small pieces of broken bricks and pots and placing some of this mix in the base of the hole so that when the assembled Green Cone is added the basket sits 3cm below ground level. Then use the gravel/soil mix to backfill gaps around the Cone until the bottom rim of the green outer cone is fully covered.

How do I look after my Green Cone?

Basic maintenance involves ensuring that the Cone’s green rim always remains below ground level.

In the first few weeks after installation check that soil has not settled and left the green rim exposed. This could also happen after heavy rain. If this is the case, make sure to add additional soil and compact it around the Cone to keep the rim securely underground.

How much waste is too much for the Green Cone?

Remember that food waste should only ever be in the underground basket: never allow waste to build up so that it is above ground level inside the Cone itself.

The Cone is expected to cope with the food waste produced by the average family of four, but this can vary greatly. If you find you regularly have more waste than the Cone can cope with you may need another Cone to cope with all your leftovers.

If you find that in autumn and winter the digestion process has started to slow down and the waste in the basket doesn’t appear to be reducing, simply add a little more accelerator powder.

Why the Green Cone is a bear necessity

The Green Cone was designed by an engineer in Canada to solve the problem of bears pushing over rubbish bins to get to food waste. While bear-proofing may not be on your list of requirements, the Cone is sure to deter local foxes.

If vermin are a problem locally, you can add additional deterrents by hardening the area close to the Cone with bricks or rocks and by positioning the Cone away from fences, woodpiles and bushes.

If pet waste is to be added to the Cone, the unit should not be placed in soil where vegetables are grown or close to any water source. Pet waste should only be added  in small amounts and never in bags.

No bags of any kind should ever be added to the Cone as this will hamper the digestion process.

Couple won over by a Green Cone called George

Woman & Green Cone

Before buying their Green Cone in 2009, Jack and Joan Milner, from Leicestershire, thought the prospect of being able to safely dispose of all their leftovers sounded almost too good to be true.

‘We were a bit sceptical at first,’ admits Jack. ‘We had already tried having a compost bin but we were not systematic enough to make it work.’

But at the time Leicestershire County Council was offering residents subsidised Cones to encourage them to recycle food waste at home instead of sending it to landfill. So the couple decided to give it a try.

A place in the sun

Under the scheme at the time, the council arranged for Green Cones to be installed on their residents’ behalf since the units must be dug into a hole in the garden.

 Once this was done, and the Cone was in place in a sunny spot near the kitchen door, the Milners began to feed it their leftovers, including bones.

‘It wasn’t long before the Green Cone was called ‘George’ (don’t ask us why!) and we fed him daily,’ says Jack.

 A pleasant surprise

The couple, now in their eighties, were quickly won over by George’s powers of digestion. ‘We have been very pleasantly surprised.’

Jack and Joan sometimes have to deal with the common problem of visiting dogs and cats leaving a little deposit on their lawn, but ‘George’ has even been efficient at dealing with this.

Most of the waste deposited in the Cone breaks down to become nutritious water that drains from the underground basket into surrounding soil. The Milners have noticed the effect of this soil conditioner on their garden.

A very good buy

Their Cone was placed in an arid spot which sported a few Lily of the Valley flowers and these soon began to flourish, becoming ‘a superb patch two metres in diameter.’

Jack adds that their Cone is now becoming a bit brittle but still ‘completely serviceable’, and it is only now after 13 years that it might need emptying.

‘Overall, George has been a very good buy.’

What’s in a name?

Incidentally, the Milners are not the only customers who have found themselves giving a name to their food waste digester. In our reviews section is a family who named their three Green Johanna Hot Composters Bertha, Belinda and Beryl. Whatever you may wish to call your Cone (and names are not obligatory, we don’t check!) we’re sure life with your own George, or Daisy or Engelburt will be just as good as the Milners’ experience.

And remember, Great Green Systems are here to help if you have any queries or problems.   

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