In Composting

Did you know: organic food waste accounts for up to 40% of all household waste going to landfills?

When food waste breaks down in landfill it emits the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane – a gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The amount of greenhouse gases produced by food waste in Australian landfill each year is equivalent to the emissions of Australia’s steel and iron ore industries combined, according to RMIT University in Melbourne.

It makes sense to divert organic food waste from landfill by converting it into compost to be returned to the earth.

What is composting?

Composting is the process of decomposing organic waste so it can be used to enrich soils with the vital nutrients needed to grow more food.

We know soil needs certain nutrients to be fertile, but did you know soil is a finite resource?

Benefits of composting

Healthy soil can be a major ‘sink’ for carbon to mitigate climate change.

Composting food scraps at home, or using council collection services where they are available, can:

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill,
• Reduce leachate production in landfills,
• Reduce the amount of watering required in gardening and landscaping,
• Reduce synthetic fertilisers needed in horticulture and agriculture, and
• Improve the structure, fertility and health of soil.

How to compost at home

It’s easy to set up your own compost system at home and there are many different ways you can do this. It can be simple, affordable and done anywhere, even with limited space.

Check out our 12 Secrets to Home Composting here.

We answered lots of home composting questions in a Q&A webinar with Kirsteen Macleod from The Compost Depot in Melbourne. We talked backyard compost bays, worm farms, lidded compost bins and bokashi systems. What to put in them and what not to. How to get the balance of carbon and nitrogen right. Can you compost onions, wax lined paper cups and receipts? Should you add green or brown lawn clippings? Is it ok to just add newspaper? Can you add coffee grounds? How moist should it be? How long before it’s ready?

You can watch the replay here to learn the basics:

Some local councils around Australia offer subsidised compost bins to their residents, so ask your council what they provide or ask for a FOGO bin.

To collect kitchen scraps, you can use a ventilated caddy to avoid odours, mildew and condensation, even if you only empty it every few days. Learn more about how vented caddies and BioBag liners cut costs for ratepayers and councils.