How to Create Your Own Compost

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Did you know that half the average Australian household waste is compostable, organic material? And that this food and garden waste, when left to rot without oxygen in landfill, releases greenhouse gasses such as methane? So by putting your food scraps into your bin, your family may be unknowingly contributing to climate change.

3% of all of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions are directly caused by organic waste rotting in landfills. The Compost Revolution website says this equates to 4.5 tonnes of food taking up space in our landfills each year which equates to 16.5M tonnes of C02e released annually into the atmosphere.

How can your family help? By separating your food and organic scraps and recycling them at home using a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin.

How does composting benefit me?
Reducing the amount of organic waste you put into your bins could actually save you money. Compost bins, worm farms and bokashi bins are an economical and simple way to make your own nutrient rich soil and fertiliser – simply by reusing what you were already going to throw away.

Fertiliser is essential to maintaining a healthy garden. But it also has the added benefit of actually reducing the amount you have to water your garden – meaning you will save money on water usage as well on having to purchase store bought fertiliser. Check out our handy tips to how this all works here.

What is a compost bin?
Compost bins come in all shapes, sizes and materials. They work as a storage container to collect organic waste. Over time the natural decomposition of the waste turns your food scraps, garden clippings, shredded paper and vacuum dust into mulch that you can reuse in the garden. It takes about four months for this process to occur and you will need a shady spot in the garden to store your compost bin.

Some compost bins may require you to mix the contents, open them weekly to aerate or to moisten the compost. Check the packaging to decide which type of compost bin works best for your household.

What is a bokashi bin?
A bokashi bin is an airtight container also used for collecting food scraps. Unlike a compost bin, a bokashi bin uses a bran laced with natural micro organisms to break down and essentially pickle the waste. You will need to apply the bokashi bran regularly as you add new layers of waste to the bin.

Once the bin is full it takes about 14 days for fermentation to be complete. You will need to regularly drain the bin of fluid throughout the fermentation process.

Bokashi compost can be fed into your worm farm or added directly on to your garden.

What is a worm farm?
Worm farms use the worms’ natural feeding process to turn organic waste into liquid fertiliser and worm castings. Both of these can be applied to provide added nutrition to your garden. Worm farms will happily thrive on leftover tea leaves, fruit and vegetables, egg shells and small volumes of moist paper or cardboard.

You will need a shady spot in the garden to provide protection to your worm farm and your worm fertiliser will need to be diluted before you apply it to the garden.

You may be able to claim an up to 50% discount off the recommended retail price of a worm farm, compost bin or bokashi bin from your local council. Go to the Compost Revolutions website for more information.