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Home composting

Home composting is one of the best things you can do to help the environment. It produces rich soil for your garden and can cut the amount of waste going to landfill.

And it’s easier than you think.

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There are home composting options to suit every indoor and outdoor space.

Open or closed compost bins

Closed bins are the most common type of household compost bin. They have a lid and often feature a hatch for releasing finished compost.

Open bins are closed off on three or four sides and open to the elements. They tend to be the cheapest and easiest form of composting system.

Open and closed compost bins only accept fruit, vegetable scraps and garden waste — no meat, dairy products, bones or pet faeces.

Pros Cons
Cheap to set up Can become too wet or dry
Easy to aerate Challenging to keep rodents out
Produces large amounts of compost Needs a good amount of space

Tumblers

Tumblers come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re often enclosed and housed on a frame. The user then rotates them manually to accelerate the composting process.

Tumblers accept fruit and vegetable scraps, garden waste, meat and fish.

Pros Cons
Rodent-proof Can be difficult to turn when it’s full
Fast composting process Expensive to set up
Easy to aerate  

Green cone

The Green Cone is partially dug into the soil, which allows it to absorb compost into the surrounding earth as it breaks down. It uses heat and light to speed up the composting process.

Green Cones accept fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, bones, bread, citrus and small amounts of pet faeces.

Pros Cons
Accepts many forms of waste Compost can’t be transferred to gardens
Doesn’t require emptying More expensive to set up
Rodent-proof Not suitable for bulk garden waste
  Must be in the sun

Aerobin

These large sealed plastic bins have an aeration core to promote the breakdown of organic matter. You access its compost through a lower side door.

They accepts fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, garden waste, cheese and meat.

Pros Cons
No turning required More expensive to set up
Rodent-proof Can’t compost bulky items
  Requires continuous feeding

Classic multi-tray worm farms

Available from hardware stores or nurseries, multi-tray worm farms produce two types of compost — worm castings, which form part of your soil, or worm tea, a liquid fertiliser that you apply directly to plants.

Multi-tray worm farms use a vertical tower of nesting trays. You fill the bottom tray with castings, and prepare a new tray with food when the previous tray fills up. The worms then migrate up to the new tray and the process starts again.

They accept fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells and small amounts of bread, paper and cardboard.

Pros Cons
Produces rich, easy-to-harvest compost Needs shade
Pest-proof Taps can sometimes block
  Needs regular feeding

DIY worm farm

You can make you own worm farm out of polystyrene boxes, or an old bathtub or fridge. It uses the same design principle as the multi-tray system.

They accept fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells and small amounts of bread, paper and cardboard.

Pros Cons
Cheap to set up Shorter life span
Compact No tap to harvest worm tea
Uses recycled materials Not rodent-proof

Bokashi bins

Bokashi bins are a convenient way to compost in your kitchen. Bokashi is a microorganism that turns a broader range of materials into a nutritious liquid fertiliser. Bokashi bins require the starter microbe mix to ensure it keeps breaking down food, and to keep odours at bay.

Pros Cons
Can be used indoors Requires start microbe mix

Electrical composting systems

Examples of new electrical composting systems include the CLO’ey composter and Smart Cara. The CLO’ey can process up to 4 kilograms of food waste per day.

They accept fruit and vegetable scraps, cheese, meat, fish and bones.

Pros Cons
Compact Costly to set up and run
Composts a variety of materials Must be vented if used inside
Rodent-proof Doesn’t compost garden waste
Easy to empty  

Community composting options

If you are short on space or time, join a community garden. Volunteers can get involved in all aspects of gardening, including composting.

To find out more, visit our Community gardening web page.

Sharewaste

Sharewaste is a free website connects people who wish to donate their food scraps to their neighbours who are already composting and willing to accept more organic waste.

Free mulch

You can collect free mulch from the bay at Glen Huntly Park car park off Neerim Road. Melway Ref: 68 E3 (near the corner of Booran and Neerim Roads).

For more information visit our free mulch page.


 

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