Give your food waste a second chance!
Did you know that households in the City of Canada Bay throw away almost 8000 tonnes of food every year? This also means households are wasting around $1000 per year on grocery bills.
There are also significant environmental costs. When organic materials like food and garden waste breakdown in landfill, they release methane which is a potent greenhouse gas 25 times worse than carbon dioxide. We also need to consider that when we waste food food we are wasting all the energy and water that has gone into producing, storing and transporting that food.
Reducing food waste and recycling your food scraps is a very important way for you to help solve this problem. Whether it's a worm farm or a compost bin, the Compost Capers team is here to help you turn your food and garden scraps into a valuable resource that will improve soil and feed your plants.
To help you get started check out our composting and worm farming videos and guides!
We have now given away 100 worm farms and compost bins. We will evaluate how these compost bins and worm farms are used, and may offer further giveaways in the future. Sign up to our monthly Sustainable Living e-newsletter to be kept up to date of all upcoming campaigns, competitions and more!
Composting is an easy and cost efficient way you can recycle your food and garden scraps into a valuable resource. You don't have to have a green thumb or have a garden to be able to take part in. It's a simple action towards cultivating a healthier and more sustainable environment no matter where you live. Here are 3 quick reasons why you should start composting:
1. Keeps organics out of landlfill
The average City of Canada Bay household throws away 4kg of food waste a week. Nearly half of the contents of our red lidded waste bins is food waste that is sent to landfill,
2. Reduces the release of greenhouse gas
Food and garden waste sent to landfill is compacted without oxygen. This results in anaerobic breakdown and the release of methane (CH4). Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 25 times worse than carbon dioxide (CO2) and a serious contributor to climate change.
On the other hand, composting and worm farming is the aerobic (with oxygen) breakdown of organic materials.This process does not produce harmful gasses. When compost is added to soil, it greatly increases its ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere- a very important way to fight climate change.
3. Produces nutrient-rich soil for plants and gardens
The products of composting and worm farming, contain nutrients that are often absent in synthetic fertilisers. They release nutrients slowly and improve soil structure, help build a healthy soil ecosystem, increase the ability of soil to retain moisture by up to 30% and result in the absorption of carbon from the atmposhere.
How to use compost?
You can use your compost in a few ways:
- Dig it into garden beds
- Add it to potting mix
- Add to seed raising mix
- Add around the drip-line of plants (away from plant stems) and cover with mulch to keep it alive.
If you want to separate the earthworms from your compost, expose the surface to light for 30 mins or more to allow the worms to burrow away from the light
How to compost in apartments
If you would like to initiate and lead a communal composting system in your unit block, please take the following steps:
- Watch the how to compost video and download the composting guide make sure you understand how to start and maintain a healthy composting system.
- Speak to your strata committee and get approval from the body corporate to start a composting system. Download the composting guide for apartments to find out how you can get started.
- Engage other apartments in your block - speak to your neighbours and give them the tools and information to help maintain a healthy compost.
- You may have to facilitate an ongoing communication system, such as a message board or a create an online chat group. This will make it easy for anyone to ask questions or raise any issues.
Easy worm farming for beginners
Any type of household can start a worm farm. It does not require much space and if you live in a home with no backyard or looking for a way to recycle your food scraps only, then worm farming is the perfect option for you! A worm farm can be placed outdoors in a shady, sheltered space or indoors in the laundry, garage, basement or balcony.
You just need a worm farm and special worms that will turn your food scraps into nutrient rich worm wee and castings - amazing free fertiliser for plants. Watch the video to learn all about worm farming and take the quiz to get your free worm farm. NB Supplies are limited and worms must be purchased separately.
Easy home composting for beginners
Compost bins are a good option for households with a backyard and have access to a sunny spot and garden materials such as dried leaves and garden clippings. Many well-intentioned people keep adding food scraps to the compost bin, only to find that they are left with a pile of smelly rotting food. So having garden materials is really important to help your compost bin thrive!