I am Lottie Dalziel from Little Pepino and this question of where to start with compost is one I get asked pretty much every day. Composting is a great way to create a rich, cheap fertiliser for your garden and halve your household waste. It is estimated that 40% of household bins are made up of organic matter that could go into a compost bin.
When your organic waste (aka foods scraps that go into your general waste bin) go to landfill they create a toxic methane gas which is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Organically active material contributes a whopping 5% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than double the emissions that Australians generate from flying every year!
The solution: if an Australian household composted their scraps they’d reduce household waste by approximately 40%, significantly reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
First up you’ll need a small scraps container inside your kitchen where you collect, ready for compost. Every couple of days (depending on the size of your household and your cooking schedule) you will need to empty it. Here’s how to choose where it goes after that.
A compost bin is the best option if you have the space and particularly if you have a garden - or even lawn. Composting is a process that has been used for many years and there is a wide range of bins available. Choose based on the space you have to work with, knowing you are setting up a great way to reduce your waste and create a luscious natural fertiliser for garden at the same time. Make sure you add 2/3 dry matter like newspaper and dried leaves to your bin to keep it healthy and breaking down your food nicely.
Space: a patch of dirt that you can place the bin on top of.
Capacity: as much or as little as you have!
Recommendations: firstly, be a good recycler and look on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree as you'll often find people giving away their old bins. If not, use the Compost Revolution website to get a discounted bin or head to your local hardware.
Worm Farms are both a fun project for the kids and an efficient system for your home. An established worm farm can eat up to 4kg each week, worms are hungry little beings with each worm eating their own body weight in food every day!
Space: a shady area, balconies and a back corner of your yard is perfect.
Capacity: maximum of 4kg of scraps each week
A bokashi bin is great for people who live in small spaces with no backyard and those who don't want the fuss of looking after their own composting system. The "liquid gold" bokashi juice is an amazing natural fertiliser so if you do have a garden, remember to dilute it 1:20 when you water it in. You will still need to find somewhere to bury the contents of your bin once it's full, this sought after process will help regenerate soil in just two weeks. Ask a friend or neighbour if you can bury the contents in their backyard or look on the ShareWaste app. I use the Maze Bokashi Bin 18L from Bunnings, but there are many options around.
Space: store under your kitchen sink or in the laundry.
Capacity: 18L but more as your food breaks down
I have written a handy little ebook to help you get a grip on composting!