About half the contents of a typical garbage bin is food or garden waste.
All those vegetable scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds, along with your garden leaves and prunings, can be composted into a rich garden fertiliser.
Not only will recycling household organic waste help you improve the quality of your soil and save money, it will also reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
What can go in a compost bin
As a general rule, anything that was once part of a living thing can be composted. The ideal compost mixture is 20 parts of carbon to one part of nitrogen (by volume).
Material high in nitrogen includes:
|• vegetable scraps
||• tea leaves
|• fruit peelings
||• coffee grounds
|• farm manure
||• garden weeds
|• fresh lawn clippings
||• cut flowers
Material high in carbon includes:
|• dry leaves and bark
||• wood ash
||• egg cartons
|• shredded paper
||• dry grass
For best results, chop and grind coarse material into smaller pieces to speed up breakdown.
What you can't compost
Items that should not be included are:
|• large woody branches
||• pet droppings
|• fats and oils
|• weeds with bulbs
citrus and acidic foods such as lemons, oranges, onions and garlic; and
meat and dairy products because they will attract flies.
Buying a compost bin
You can buy compost bins from many different hardware suppliers, plant nurseries and wholesalers.
Disposal of noxious weeds
Noxious weeds can be placed in your garden waste bin. Garden waste undergoes a pasteurisation process, where it is heated to high temperatures which ensure the seeds can not germinate.
Noxious and declared weeds can also be placed in the garbage waste bin, but put them in a plastic bag and tie the top, to ensure they are not spread further once they get to landfill.