One-third of the world's food is wasted, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste every year. With such high quantities of food going into landfills and rising levels of greenhouse gases, composting has become a simple way to minimise your environmental footprint. We think composting rules.
We know composting can be daunting, but we are here to help! We have compiled composting tips so you can keep your food scraps and Great Wrap out of the landfill.
There are many types of composting, so before getting started, we recommend taking the time to look at your lifestyle and living space to find the best set-up for you. Below are some general guidelines, but keep in mind that the composting process can vary if you are using a worm farm or an alternative composting method.
Find a compost bin to suit your space
Compost bins vary widely in size, material and cost — making it easy to find the perfect one for your space. For a permanent holding unit, we love SubPod.
Know what can be composted
There are two different types of non-toxic matter that are important in any compost. Green matter, which is items such as; food scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags and brown matter, items such as; leaves, cardboard, plant waste, shredded newspaper and Great Wrap! A good mix of both is the key to a healthy compost.
Know What Not To Compost
Composting is a great way to reduce waste, but it is important to remember some items are not suited for a home compost bin, including the following:
- Animal products such as dairy, bones and meat, which can attract pests (these can be composted commercially).
- Oils and oily foods that are difficult to decompose (these can be composted commercially).
- Pesticide-treated yard waste.
- Weeds and their roots which can grow in the pile and spread.
- Bio-plastic products.
Start your compost
Add green and brown matter to your bin, making sure larger items are chopped up or shredded — aim for an equal amount of each. It is best if you alternate layers of brown and green matter, especially when starting your compost. Keep your compost moist but not too wet. You can always add sawdust to dry and water to moisten.
Turn the pile
Regularly turn your compost pile with a rake or pitchfork. Turning the compost helps promote oxygen flow and releases the heat that builds during decomposition — aim for a temperature between 32° and 60°C.
Use your compost
A compost takes several months to form and is ready when it is dark in colour, crumbles easily, and no longer emits heat. Once it is ready, mix compost into the top inches of your garden's soil. If you don’t have a garden, you can also use your compost as mulch for around your trees and shrubs or as a top dressing for lawns. If you live in an apartment building or don’t have access to a backyard, you can donate your compost to a local garden or neighbour.If you’re interested in composting but unable to set up a proper composting system — there are options. Many cities have pick-up services. Search your area on Compost Connect to find out if your council is participating in an organic waste service. Alternatively, look for people composting in your community — you can freeze your scraps and drop them off as you need.