Home composting and worm farms

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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Why we compost at home 

  • It saves space in your rubbish bin and keeps the precious nutrients at home 
  • It’s a fantastic fertiliser for your garden and plants 
  • It provides a flexible food waste recycling option to different household types 
  • It helps in diverting food waste from landfill
  • It helps reduce carbon emissions from food waste 

Join the Compost Community 

You can save up to 80 per cent off a compost bin, a worm farm or a bokashi bin and enjoy the benefits! Check out our Compost Community home composting program.  

One rebate is available per household in Glen Eira (ratepayers and renters). Schools and childcare centres within Glen Eira may also apply for one rebate. You will also have access to advice and support on selecting and setting up your home compost or worm farm. 

How to compost and composting options

There are different ways to compost, and it may be easier than you think. 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

Pet waste compost bins

Pet poo can be composted using an in-ground system that keeps you safe from pathogens. It uses beneficial microbes to decompose pet waste 

The system should be half-buried in the soil, away from edible plants. The top of the composter should be above the surface to operate the lid and deposit pet waste. 

Install in a discreet part of the garden to feed your ornamental plants. Do not install near your veggie patch due to the potential pathogens in pet poo. 

Pros Cons
Cheap to set up  Must be placed away from edible plants
Easy to aerate  Compost can’t be used on veggie patch 
Do away with doggy waste bags   

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 Can be more expensive to set up
Easy to aerate  

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

In-ground worm farm

Available through our Compost Community program, the Subpod mini is a weather proof, in-ground worm farm system. The Subpod can adapt to the smallest of gardens or to large scale apartment blocks. It can be used in courtyards (on soil section) or scaled up.

Pros Cons
Directly fertilises the soil (no need to harvest) Needs regular feeding 
Weather-proof   
Versatile  

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

​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 that 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. (near the corner of Booran and Neerim Roads).

For more information visit our free mulch page.


 

Privacy collection notice

Glen Eira City Council (Council) is committed to protecting the personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (PDP Act). Personal information is collected by Council only for the purpose of its functions set out in the Local Government Act 2020 (Vic).

 

Specifically, personal information is collected to assist in the processing of your order and communicating with you regarding the Compost Community Program. The information collected by Compost Community is provided to Council in accordance with its Compost Community Privacy Policy which is available on its website. You may decline to provide this information by not using the Compost Community Program.

 

The personal information collected by Council will be used solely for those purposes or directly related purposes. If this information is not collected, Council will be unable to confirm your eligibility. In certain circumstances, we may disclose information about you where permitted or authorised under the PDP Act or other applicable law. If you would like to know more about privacy at Council, including your right to seek access to your personal information, contact Council's privacy officer on 9524 3333. Council's Privacy Policy is available on the website.

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