Composting is basically the holy grail of waste management! Composting returns nutrients to the earth in a looped system, providing those nutrients to the soil to help grow more plants. If you're composting all your food scraps at home then not only do you have a clean bin but you will also have an amazing eco system working for you. Even if you only have a few pot plants, a compost heap will provide you with all the nutrients your plants will ever need. The real beauty of compost is seeing it develop into a worm filled heap of dark rich goodness!
A good compost heap needs a balance of greens for nitrogen and browns for carbon. So along with all your kitchen scraps you can also chuck in your lawn clippings, tissues, paper towels, cardboard and even the local newspaper. A weekly or fortnightly stir of the heap will keep things aerated and moving, but you'll want to let it sit and 'cook' for a few weeks before you use it in your garden.
Signs of a good heap
- worms - once you have worms you have life!
- no nasty smell - don't get me wrong, your compost will definitely smell, but a good balanced compost heap won't smell mouldy or sulphurous
- moist but not too moist - if things are looking a little too wet then its time to add some carbon-based material like newspaper or cardboard
No room for a compost bin/heap?
There are still options! Systems such as the Bokashi Compost Bin are an ideal choice for people with limited space. Bokashi bins do all the work for you and create liquid fertiliser that you can use in potted plants or a smaller garden.
No garden or plants?
No problem! Your other option is to wrap your food scraps in newspaper and dispose of them in your commercial compost bin (usually know as the green bin). The green bin can actually handle a little more 'rough stuff' than a home compost heap (think nasty business like dog poop and meat scraps which you don't want in your veggie garden!!) Commercial compost operates at much higher temperatures so it is capable of breaking down things that can't be dealt with in a home composting system, this includes products such as bio bags which aren't really suitable for the home heap.