Shedding light on dirty business of composting

Master composter Baird McClellan from Whaddon.'110704M-A082
Master composter Baird McClellan from Whaddon.'110704M-A082

ENTHUSIASM for composting garden and food waste has inspired a man from Whaddon to spread the word.

Baird McClellan, 67, a former environmental studies teacher at Mandeville School and former head at Wingrave has been turning composting into a fine art and is now a master composter after taking part in a Bucks County Council course in 2009.

The master composter course is run by Recycle for Buckinghamshire and it is currently looking for people interested in joining its next one in the autumn.

Mr McClellan, who has a background in horticulture, has been composting for more than 40 years, starting at the age of 22 in his first house.

Since then, his efforts have grown and at his home, he now owns six compost bins with its contents in various states of decomposition.

He said: “The county council is trying to avoid organic waste going to landfill, but that is not my key reason for composting. I do it because sending waste to landfill is a waste of valuable ingredients.

“I first started composting with a wooden bin in the corner of my garden, which I put all my materials in. I don’t like wastage of anything. I am a great hoarder and I try to recycle everything I can.

“I saw something in the paper about a master composter course and I thought, ‘That looks like fun.’”

The course shows how a commercial composting site works, talks about the importance of composting and gives advice on how to help spread the word.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the course should contact home composting officer Lesley Tulit on 01296 387797 or email

Mr McClellan offers advice on composting to people in the Bucks area. He can be contacted on 01908 502204.