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5 tips to celebrate International Compost Week in style

Green thumbs across the nation are partying hard as they celebrate International Compost Week in Australia. (If this sounds like the US-only World Series Baseball May, it’s not. Different countries celebrate throughout the year.) This is a week during which Australians are invited to pay closer attention to what they put in their rubbish bin and consider than often about half of that could be composted through dedicated organic waste wheelie bin services or at home. Even better, the one-and-only Costa Georgiadis (he of the wild beard from Gardening Australia) is the event’s ambassador!

The Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), a not-for-profit organisation, started running the Australian event 11 years ago in a bid to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill. CORE chairman Eric Love says the group wants Australians to realise that each time they throw organics such as food scraps and garden waste in the rubbish bin they are contributing to climate change. “Most people are unaware of this and we believe that if they knew, they would try to do things differently”, he explains.

 

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“During our event last year in Martin Place, most of the people who talked to us were thinking that organic waste such as fruit and vegetables peelings or garden waste is harmless and will naturally decompose in landfills over time. It is unfortunately not true. In landfills, waste is compacted to save space and decomposes without air (anaerobically), which produces methane, a gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Composting or sorting organic waste correctly is a simple thing Australians can do to help fight climate change, which is the biggest threat of our time.”

It is estimated that about half of the residential bin waste in a household rubbish bin could be composted through dedicated organic waste wheelie bin services or at home. This is based on 25 council audits conducted by waste consultancy EC Sustainable in 2011 that showed about 33 per cent of the rubbish is food organics (including peelings) and about 10 per cent is garden vegetation.

Australians of all ages are invited to learn more about composting by taking part in the events organised to celebrate Compost Week or by organising their own: www.compostweek.com.au.

 

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“Organic materials diverted from landfills and properly composted can help in the effort to reverse the effects of climate change. By applying this compost to gardens, farms and other land uses, millions of tonnes of carbon will be stored in the soil. This acts to lower the atmospheric temperatures that lead to changes in our climate.”

Below are the different things that you can do instead of throwing your organic waste into the bin:

  • Compost it using a compost bin or make your own compost heap!
  • Feed it to a worm farm – avoid citrus, spicy food, garlic, onions, meat, dairy and processed foods such as bread and pasta.
  • Put it in the green bin – food waste is also allowed depending on your council.
  • Feed it to your chooks – if you are lucky enough to have a backyard!
  • If you live in an apartment, the Bokashi Bin Bucket might be more suitable or you can also find a community garden near you to give your organic waste to, they usually have a few compost bins and worm farms.

 

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Phyllis Stylianou

Phyllis Stylianou is a journalist with 35 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. Writing is the great love of her life (after her family) – as is renovating old homes and building new ones (which she’s embarking on again!) So writing about everything to do with building, renovating and gardening is her passion.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.