There are now 19 community composting hubs across Brisbane and the number of composting hubs and participants continues to grow. Together they are helping to reduce the amount of food waste to landfill and creating rich nutrients for the community gardens.
With such a large growing community of composters, the work of the dedicated volunteers who run the community composting hubs and gardens is even more important. As a participant dropping off your organic waste, here are some handy tips to help the hard working volunteers turn waste into garden gold.
Small is best
Cut up your food waste into small pieces as this helps it break down quicker and minimises smells. Large pieces of watermelon rind, broccoli stems or whole oranges take up a lot of room in your caddy. They also take a long time to break down and make more work for volunteers as they have to chop them into smaller pieces to keep the composting process working properly.
Avoid putting bags of any sort into the composting hub bins, including bin liners or bags that are advertised as biodegradable or compostable. These do not break down easily in this type of composting system. If you still want to use a liner in your caddy, consider using old newspaper (avoid glossy junk mail) or a used sheet of paper towel. This can be thrown in the compost bin along with your kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps.
You can help out the volunteers by collecting your dry leaves, dry grass clippings, shredded paper, spoiled sugar cane mulch, hay or small wood chips. Simply add them to the browns bin or if you have larger quantities, ask the community gardeners where they would like you to leave them.
Stir it up
Oxygen is the key to producing good compost. You can help this process along by giving the compost a good stir when you drop off your scraps. If there are no tools left for you to use, a stick will work. Remove any items in the compost bin that shouldn’t be there, such as plastic bags.
Become a volunteer at your hub. Even an hour once a month helps to take the pressure off regular volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get to know people in your community, get fit and learn something new. Speak to the community garden volunteers for more information or contact Council to put you in touch with the relevant team.
Remember, if everyone volunteers a little bit of their time, together we can make a difference.