The easiest, most dramatic way to reduce the amount of material going to landfill is to deal with food and organic waste at home. Thats because organic, compostable, material makes up around 50% of what ends up at the landfill.
A fair question is; 'what’s the difference between organic waste breaking down in the landfill instead of at home?' Well, when organic waste breaks down in a landfill it decomposes anaerobically (without air) which produces methane gas. When composted at home, or commercially, the process is aerobic (with air) and methane production is avoided. Methane is extremely potent as a greenhouse gas, 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. So diverting organic waste from landfill is a really good idea!
Many councils receive organic waste at their transfer stations at a reduced - if not free - rate, and some now even have curbside collection. Check out whether your’s does through this website.
Or, even better, by dealing with the organic waste at home you get to retain all those nutrients, for your own, or other’s gardens! There are plenty of options, which when done well should result in no offensive smells or swarms of flys!
· Composting: Rosalie suggests using four old shipping pallets tied together in a square to make a compost bin with plenty of airflow which is a great idea. Even paper and cardboard composts well. Feed stuff to the dog /cat, especially meat and dairy that attracts mice to the compost. Also feeding weeds, grass clippings and food waste to chickens, bunnies or whatever vege eating animal you might have handy means the seeds from the weeds don't get back into your garden. If the compost gets hot enough these seeds will be killed anyway so don't worry too much about them!
· Worm Farm: These are becoming increasingly popular in schools, workplaces as well as back yards. The liquid produced makes a great fertilizer - just remember to water it down before you use it! The castings produced are awesome for the garden as well. We've got a NZ designed Hungry Bin, which looks good, is really efficient and super easy to use, (no, we're not getting paid for endorsing them, maybe we should!)
· Bokashi: Worms and standard composts are great, but neither are great for dealing with meat, and the worms aren't that fond of onion and citrus peelings. Also, for an increasing number of folk there simply isn't space in the apartment for them which is where bokashi comes in! It’s compact, not very smelly and the by product is fertilizer for plants, and easy to give away to friends. We now travel with our bokashi bin! We take it out on our boat when away overnight and it is great when house sitting a place without a compost system in place. We got ours from Zing Bokashi.
Organisation: So at our place we have all three systems; compost mainly for lawn clippings and garden waste, bokashi for meat, onion and citrus, and the worms eat up everything else. Under the kitchen sink we've made good use of old ice cream containers to help us divert everything to the right place. Included in this are containers for recycling, paper, metal and carbon rich material like brown paper and matchsticks which is great for balancing out the compost when necessary.
Tags: bokashi compost organic organic waste recycling rubbish free worm farm