Gardening: Tool Box: Aversion therapy that creates a heap of compost

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The Independent Online
BLACK & DECKER's impressive GA 100 compost shredder reminded me that gardening is often a give-and-take activity. The device reduces air pollution by doing away with a bonfire, but makes enough noise to be marketed as a form of aversion therapy for hangovers, notably when chomping sticks up to an inch thick.

Listed at pounds 139.95 - the price includes safety goggles - this value-for-money electric-powered machine is easy to assemble and light enough to he carried from place to place without fear of slipping a disc or pulling a muscle. Goggles are essential, particularly when feeding branches into the side chute.

The top funnel's tough rubber flaps work well, but are not guaranteed to prevent twigs being spat out.

Almost everything that went into the shredder was reduced to very small pieces, but the size of the intakes restrict the rate at which it operates. Patience is essential.

Shredders are designed to handle household waste as well as garden debris, but a well-known daily newspaper - not this one - clogged the GA 100. My wife said it was proof that the broadsheet was indigestible in more ways than one.

Black & Decker Ltd, Westpoint, The Grove, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1QQ (0753 511234).