In the wake of International Composting Week which kicks off next week (6 – 12 May) we thought we would research and give you a rundown on your composting options in Melbourne. We already know that in Victoria food waste takes up nearly 40% of our overall waste, so we should be exploring ways we can reduce this, and composting is certainly one way.
Whatever type of home and garden you have there is a composting option for you!
Composting Option #1 – Composting Bin
If you have the room in your garden (or have a shared garden in an apartment complex) this is possibly the best/easiest option. All you need to set it up is a bit of space on either soil, sand or gravel (ideally in the shade). You can use this bin for your food and garden scraps. Just remember to turn the compost over about once a week to avoid it smelling and to help it break down.
You can purchase compost bins from Bunnings and the like but before you do that, make sure you check out https://compostrevolution.com.au/. Councils across Australia have partnered with Compost Revolution to offer discounted compost, worm farms and bokashi bins (generally 40% off RRP). Check out the website and put in your address to see if you qualify for a discount. Another great site which stocks everything ‘composting’ is wormsrus.com.au
If you are that way inclined, you could try your hand at building your own compost bin too.
Use your compost as a fertiliser for your garden!
Click here to find out more about what items you can and cannot put in your composting bin.
Composting Option #2 – Worm Farm
Worm farms are perfect if you have a small yard or no garden or produce a small amount of food scraps. They should be set up in a shady area (sheltered carport or porch would work well). Worm farms are designed primarily for food scraps but that’s not to say you can’t add the odd garden waste (small amounts of lawn clippings or leaves), you will just be a bit more restricted with the space.
You also need to be careful about the amount you are feeding the worms, a general rule of thumb is worms eat approximately ½ their body weight in food. So if you start with 250g of worms, you can feed them approximately 125g of food a day. Source
Worm farm kits can again be purchased from your local hardware store or check out Compost Revolution for a discounted worm farm.
Worm farms will produce a liquid fertiliser which is great to use on plants.
Click here to find out more about what items you can and cannot put in your worm farm.
Composting Option #3 – Bokashi Bin
If you live in an apartment or somewhere with very limited space you may like to try out a Bokashi bin (which you can keep on your kitchen bench). Bokashi is Japanese for ‘fermented organic matter’ which is exactly what the bin does – it basically ferments the food waste as opposed to composting it. Bonus points for the Bokashi bin is that it doesn’t smell!
The Bokashi bin can pretty much take the same type of food scraps as the composting options, but because of the different process it uses, meat and dairy can also be added. The only thing you will need is somewhere to compost of bury the fertiliser it produces. If you have absolutely no space for this, a community garden or ShareWaste could be the answer for you (read on…)
Once again look out for the Bokashi bins in the hardware shops or go to Compost Revolution to check out the discounted Bokashi bins.
Click here to find out more about what items you can and cannot put in your Bokashi bin.
Composting Option #4 – Community Gardens
If you don’t have the space or don’t want to have a compost at home perhaps consider becoming part of a Community Garden. First up, you will need to find a Community Garden near you and contact them to find out if they accept compost items and what is acceptable.
Probably the easiest way to find a Community Garden near you is by contacting your Council or looking online. For example here are the Community Gardens in Glen Eira.
You would then need to save up your composting items (perhaps in a sealed bin or in the freezer) and deliver to the Community Garden possibly weekly or when suits your schedule.
Composting Option #5 – ShareWaste
Another option if you lack the space or don’t want to compost at home is ShareWaste. This is a fantastic free online platform where you can find places nearby willing to share their composts to drop off your organic waste. Individuals and Community Gardens can both be found on ShareWaste.
ShareWaste is available to download as an app for FREE on the App Store or Google Play. Or If you prefer to use the online platform visit sharewaste.com.
For further information on how ShareWaste works, click here for our app review.
In the workplace
Depending on where you work and the size of your business, any one of the composting options above could work for you. To complement one of these systems or if you have a high quantity of food waste it could be worth implementing a food waste recycling programme. Talk to us to find out more.