Why waste it? When you can compost it and create black gold!
A great way to close the loop and win the war on waste is to compost your food and organic garden materials.
Composting – why is it important?
Almost half, yes, around 48% of our waste could be made into compost. Composting your food and garden organics is great for our environment. Most of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions from landfill come from decomposing organic material which could be composted through your green lidded food and garden organics (FOGO) bin or in your home compost bin. Not only do green organics produce methane as they decompose, but their nutrients remain locked in landfill and can’t be used again to grow plants and food. Compost is also known as ‘black gold’ as it is packed full of nutrients that can be used in gardens as a soil conditioner and slow release fertiliser. Compost can be used to fertilise gardens, farms and sporting fields and the mulch can be used to protect against weeds, reduce plant stress and save water in gardens, parks, orchards and vineyards.
Composting and mulching green organics is also cheaper than sending them to landfill. If we reduce the amount of material sent to landfill then councils can pass on these savings to residents and invest in other community services.
Whether you compost through your green lidded food and garden organics/FOGO bin or in your own compost bin, you are helping to save half of your waste from going to landfill and instead turning it into black gold.
What can be composted in the green lidded food and garden organics (FOGO) bin?
Use a kitchen caddy to collect your food scraps.
Line the basket with a compostable bag or newspaper, place your food scraps in then after 2-3 days or once full, tie the bag at the top and place it into your green lidded FOGO bin. Kitchen Caddies and compostable bags are now available from most Councils. Ask your local Council about how you can get one today.
What happens to your food scraps and organic garden materials?
How are they turned into black gold?
Every fortnight East Waste collects green bins full of food and garden organics materials. Last year (2017) East Waste collected just over 33,700 tonnes which was turned into compost.
If you are an East Waste Council resident, your food and garden organics material is taken to Jeffries composting facility and placed into large piles.
Over 8-10 weeks with the help of microbes, the right temperature and air flow, materials break down.
Once broken down, the material needs to be screened to remove contaminants such as plastic bags, irrigation pipe, glass and metal objects that have been incorrectly placed in a green bin. This is a difficult and expensive process. Finally, the material is made into compost, or black gold, and is used in South Australian broadacre farms, vineyards, glass houses and household gardens.