Organic waste is a precious resource, and our planet is screaming out for organic matter. We must deal with organic waste appropriately through composting and turn it into a valuable soil conditioner that can help save our planet.
Visit your local hardware store to purchase a compost bin, or build your own from scratch. Seek out locals who have experience in composting and gardening to make sure you get the right compost bin for your place.
If you have minimal organic waste, then a small worm farm might be a good option. If you have a larger family, consider a much larger bin.
Start a worm farm
For small families with minimal food waste, a worm farm bin is an excellent option. Purchase some worms from a local if you can, or buy a worm farm bin from your nearest hardware store and follow the instructions to set it up.
- Keep a bin full of shredded paper next to your worm farm and every time you add food waste, cover it with shredded paper. This will keep the smell down by adding carbon to the mix.
- Add food scraps in moderation; try not to add too much of any one thing and avoid citrus and onions, as your worms won’t like them.
- Once your worm farm is established, keep it moist by checking on it once or twice per week and adding some water if needed. Capture the water (or worm wee) and transfer it to your garden to add beautiful nutrients from the worm castings inside your worm farm.
How to start a home compost
If you have a larger family and lots of food scraps then a worm farm might not be enough. Get a large bin and start adding in your food scraps. As with the worm farm, cover the scraps in shredded paper, straw or dry leaves.
- After you have a few layers of both shredded paper and food scraps, use a compost screw to mix and turn the compost pile. This will allow oxygen into the pile and help it break down faster. The bigger the pile the more heat you will generate. Heat helps to break things down and also removes any pathogens or weed seeds.
- A temperature gauge can be a great tool to help monitor your compost bin. Get one that is quite long so it can get to the middle of your pile, as this is where the most heat is. When the temperature drops below 40-50℃, it’s time to turn your compost so it can heat up again.
- Monitor your compost bin one or two times per week and if it’s drying out, add a sprinkle of water.
- Unlike the worm farm, you can add almost anything to your compost bin – vacuum bag contents, teabags, coffee grounds, eggshells and pieces of bread can all go in here. And with any luck, you should find your landfill bin getting smaller and smaller.