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Getting Dirty in the Community

In light of the closure of all of SKMs facilities, and the recycling of over 30 Shire Councils going to landfill, A Guide to Cardinia is running a series of articles by guest experts on what we can do to refuse, reduce and recycle; this is the last – slightly delayed – article in the series. It’s all about composting, from some local experts at the Garfield Community Garden

By Ash McComb

GCG CompostingSpring is officially here and its the perfect time to get your hands dirty in the garden. Over at the Garfield Community Garden (GCG), we have been fine tuning our composting system to be able to cope with more of the community food waste- particularly our local cafes and fresh food businesses. We have had a revamp of our “Community Composting System”, erecting signage to help our visitors, and contributors to more easily navigate our vast array of compost bins.

We now have signs hanging on each bin to guide you. “Fill me”, “I’m cooking” and “I’m ready” are seen to be hanging on each bin according to which stage of the composting process each bin is up to.“Fill me” with a green dot – these bins are ready for your scraps! “I’m cooking” with an orange dot – these bins have been filled with the right amounts of green material (fruit, veg, scraps) and brown material (shredded paper, hay, leaves), and are now being turned weekly by our fabulous group of volunteers awaiting for nature to do its magic and turn our waste into organic fertiliser. Final stages has our “I’m ready” signage with red dots indicating that these bins are ready to be added to the gardens.

The Last 18 months, GCG has teamed up with Cannibal Creek Bakehouse, taking their food waste, and hope to team with more local businesses and households in the near future to create a sharewaste community (refer to the ‘sharewaste’ app).So why is all this so important?

According to “Foodwise Facts Australia” – 40% of the average Australian household bins are comprised of compostable food scraps. The issue with putting compostable material into our household bins is that they end up in landfill, the garbage is so tightly packed that the conditions do not allow those scraps to breakdown but stores them in anaerobic conditions which then produces methane gas. In short, Binning scraps is really bad for our environment.

Composting is a vital part of a productive garden and an essential tool for low waste living. When you choose to compost, you are choosing to reduce your environmental impact, reduce your household waste, and improve your gardens overall soil health.

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