Composting

Food waste makes up a large proportion of the household waste. These waste when transported to landfill, decays without oxygen to form harmful greenhouse gases. Composting and worm farming are easy and important ways to divert these valuable materials going to landfill, reducing the green house gas emission and returning nutrients back into the soil.

What is composting?

finished compost

• Composting is the natural process of breaking down of organic matter into a nutrient rich soil-like substance called ‘humus’.
• Composting is a naturally occurring process that occurs through the action of microorganisms in the presence of oxygen, appropriate temperature and moisture.

Benefits of Composting

• To Reduce Waste:
Composting helps to divert household organic waste and garden waste from landfill.
• To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
In landfill the organic waste gets decomposed without oxygen (anaerobic process) which causes the release of greenhouse gases, as well as produces leachate which when combined with toxic chemicals seeps into soil and groundwater.
• To Produce Nutrient Rich Fertiliser:
Nutrient rich soil like substance is produced which is used as fertilizer in gardens and lawns. Fertilizer helps to retain nutrients, improve soil moisture and increase plant health.

Easy steps to compost

compost bin

1. Select The Ideal Spot:
• Look for a sunny spot and a well drained location.
2. The Right Ingredients:
• Carbon-rich brown garden vegetation such as dry leaves, woody twigs, paper and straw
• Nitrogen rich kitchen scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings and green garden vegetation such as fresh grass clippings, green leaves, weeds and manure.
• Moisture
• Some soil or compost to introduce composting micro-organisms.

3. Layering
• Add a layer of course dry material such as twigs or chunky dry leaves to approximately 100mm in depth.
• Add a thin layer of rich soil or compost to approximately 20mm in depth.
• Sprinkle the compost with water until the contents are moist, but not so much that it runs out the bottom.
• Add a thin Nitrogen rich layer.
• Add a thick Carbon rich layer.
• Add a thin Nitrogen rich layer.
• Add a thick Carbon rich layer (and so on). It is always recommended to finish with a carbon layer to detract unwanted pests and to prevent the loss of nitrogen to the air, as it is very volatile. If you can smell ammonia than this is occurring.

4. Maintaining the Compost
Turn the compost heap twice a week with a shovel, garden fork to avoid foul smell in the compost. Turning provides aeration to the heap.

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