#BYCWASTEFREE – Compost Your Way To A Greener Future!

 In Brimbank Waste Free

Why should I compost?

Before starting anything, it is important to understand the why. This will help you create lasting change in your household.

 So, why compost?

  • Did you know that Victorian households throw out about 250,000 tonnes of food each year. Almost half our household rubbish is food waste! 
  • Food in landfill breaks down anaerobically (without air) and can produce greenhouses gases which contributes to climate change.
  • The compost produced via household food and garden waste can be used to create soil and healthy gardens.
  • Composting is something we can all do to minimise waste!

Well then, let’s get started! 

What’s needed to get started:

– A compost bin

– An area for the compost bin to live 

– Nitrogen (Moist ingredients) 

– Carbon (Dry ingredients)

– A shovel 

What to compost: 

Carbon: Carbon-rich matter can be branches, stems, dried leaves, small bits of wood, used paper towels, shredded cardboard, toilet paper rolls, coffee grounds, eggshells, shredded newspaper – Carbon gives compost its fluffy body.

Nitrogen: Protein-rich matter can be food scraps, green lawn clippings, green leaves, kitchen waste to an extent.

Your compost should have more carbon than nitrogen, use one third wet and two thirds dry materials.

What NOT to compost: 

No meat, chicken or fish scraps, dairy products, fats or oils, animal waste, diseased or insect infected plants.

Easy steps on how to get your compost started: 

  1. Start your compost pile on bare earth. This allows beneficial organisms to aerate the compost. 
  2. To aid drainage and aerate the pile, start by laying carbon (dry) material a few inches deep.
  3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating between nitrogen (moist) and carbon (dry).
    Remember: your compost should have more carbon than nitrogen, use one third wet and two thirds dry materials. 
  4. Keep compost moist. Water it lightly when adding materials. The compost should be moist, but not soaked. 
  5. Keep the compost bin covered. Covering helps retain moisture and heat, two essentials for composting. 
  6. Turn, turn, turn. Every 2-3 weeks give the pile a turn with a shovel. This aerates the pile. 

Turning the compost adds oxygen, oxygen is required for the process to work. 

For more information on how to compost check out The Compost Revolution https://compostrevolution.com.au/tutorials/ 

Did you know?

Brimbank City Council has a home composting program that includes a one-off rebate of $50 on compost bins for households who want to start composting food waste. Council has partnered with The Compost Revolution.

See more info here: https://www.brimbank.vic.gov.au/environment-and-sustainability/home-composting-program 

Other ways you can reduce your food waste: 

  • Minimise the food becoming waste and buy what you need and plan your meals.
  • Store food correctly to preserve it’s life.
  • Consider how you can use foods in other ways, to reduce waste. E.g. Use up fruits in a smoothie or make banana bread out of extra ripe bananas. 

For more information on reducing food waste see: https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/recycling-and-reducing-waste/at-home/avoid-waste/food-waste

Written by Brimbank Youth Councillor Maddi

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