Minimising food and garden waste

13 February 2018

Minimising food and garden waste

You can help to minimise food and garden waste within your household easily by company or building a worm farm.

Compost is the perfect substance to fertilise the soil in your garden with, It is a mixture of decaying and decayed organic matter from your garden or kitchen. It is easy to start a compost bin at home as all you will need is a large plastic or ceramic container, shade, a source of water and your organic waste scraps. Pick a shady spot in your backyard to place your container, it is important to have a source of water close by so that you can moisten your organic matter to help the process of decaying.

Things that can be placed into your compost bin include plant and leaf waste, grass clippings, most vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells and any other organic material. It is not recommended that you put the following items in your compost bin – dairy products, meat or fish products, lemon or orange peels. These products are not recommended as they don’t break down quickly, they can have an odour and can also attract animals or vermin to your yard.

Another way to help minimise food and carboard/paper waste within your household is by building a worm farm. Worms help to process your waste into nutrient rich plant food and soil conditioner. A worm farm requires 40.0-50% nitrogen ie. food scraps and green waste, 50-60% carbon ie. paper and cardboard, and water as needed to moisten carbon products.

What you can place into your worm farm

  • Most fruit and vegetables
  • Teabags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells and egg cartons
  • Toilet rolls
  • Paper towel and tissues
  • Vacuum dust
  • Newspaper

What you cannot place into your worm farm

  • Citrus and pineapple
  • Onion, garlic and spicy foods
  • Bread and pasta
  • Processed foods
  • Dairy products
  • Meat products

It is important to help minimise the amount of food wasted as the impacts of this wastage are extremely negative. It contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, the use of fresh water and energy that has been wasted on these discarded products and the large amount of resources that it took to get the food from the paddock to your plate. By composting or having a worm farm you are helping to lessen these effects.