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Most types of garden or green waste is biodegradable and can be recycled, including bark, flowers, grass and hedge cuttings, leaves, plants, small branches, twigs and weeds. They are shredded and composted into nutrient rich soil conditioner which can then be used in a range of different applications, such as for agriculture, for land reclamation and as an ingredient in some multipurpose compost. Open air windrow composting is generally used for garden waste materials only, this process cannot accept catering or animal wastes (such as food from household kitchens), therefore green waste containing these other types of material have to be processed though in-vessel composting (IVC) or anaerobic digestion (AD) in order to comply with the Animal By-Products Regulations.
The UK is looking to prevent organic waste being landfilled. This is because the Landfill Directive has set challenging targets regarding the landfilling of biodegradable waste which include: