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Did you know that composting practices are said to date back over 12,000 years? That means even people in the Stone Age were able to reap the benefits of turning their scraps into super soil!
What is composting?
Composting is the decomposition process of collected organic waste - such as food scraps, coffee grounds, paper, and grass clippings - into a rich soil so rich in nutrients that some people call it ‘black gold’.
The composting process can be done on either an industrial-scale, at specialised composting facilities, or on a smaller-scale like in local community gardens, or even on your own kitchen bench top! The resulting product can then be used in our gardens and crops to reduce harmful natural gas production, improve soil quality, and supply some of the essential nutrients for drastically improved crop and harvest growth.
Why should we compost?
According to the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment, recent bin audits have shown 40-60% of waste currently sent to landfill in Australia is organic waste that could be composted to then be used in our gardens or returned to agricultural land to help our farmers.
Aside from being a wonderfully nutrient rich fertiliser for our homes and farms, composting properly is proven to help to reduce methane gas production - a gas which is even more detrimental than carbon dioxide for the environment!
When large amounts of organic waste are thrown into landfill, they end up being buried ‘anaerobically’ - meaning ‘without air’ - which at this rate is causing over 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse emissions annually. Not only this, but by using compost on land, we can reduce the need for water by an average of 30%, resulting in dramatically improved soil quality to grow lots of the nutrient rich veggies and fruit we love to eat.
How to build a compost bin
Setting up a compost bin at home can be a fun and rewarding activity for anyone interested in helping the environment and having a beautiful and bountiful garden in the process! No matter the size of your home, there is a way to compost - anything from a small container on your benchtop to a large compost pile in your backyard can achieve a lot. Have a look at our composting guide to start your own, and our quick fix guide for more tips once you’re up and running!
Many Council groups are taking initiative to support and facilitate community composting incentives, which has helped to decrease compostable waste going to landfill in Australia by around 5% over the past two years.
According to the latest figures from EC Sustainable, the amount of compostable material in Australians' garbage bins has decreased by approximately 5% over the past 2 years thanks to local Council initiatives and better household awareness on composting benefits.
➔ Action: Look up your local council and see what composting initiative programs they might be running in your area!