What a load of compost!

About half the rubbish Aussies put in their bins could be used in the garden as compost and mulch.

NEXT time you’re about to place a bag of rubbish in your mixed waste garbage bin, stop and think: could it be put to better use?

The answer in most cases is a resounding yes.

About half the rubbish Aussies put in these bins could be used in the garden as compost and mulch.

The Centre for Organic Research and Education champions urban agriculture, where backyards are potential farms in the making.

“Farming is not restricted to rural areas; we can have smaller but nevertheless productive farms in urban areas and enjoy fresh produce at our doorsteps,” said centre chairman.

“We use compost to nurture our soils and eliminate synthetic chemicals to ensure we get high quality, sustainably grown food.

“Every backyard at home is also a potential productive urban farm.

“We can all enjoy healthy, locally-grown food, reduce waste and close the loop on food waste by turning it into compost.”

What you can put in your compost bin

  • Vegetable and fruit scraps
  • Vegetable oil
  • Prunings and lawn clippings
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Vacuum dust
  • Shredded paper and cardboard
  • Used potting mix
  • Egg shells
  • Flowers

What shouldn’t you put in your compost bin

  • Meat and bones
  • Dairy products
  • Diseased plants
  • Metals, plastic and glass
  • Animal manures
  • Fat
  • Magazines
  • Large branches
  • Weeds that have seeds or underground stems
  • Sawdust from treated timber
  • Pet droppings
  • Synthetic chemicals

You can compost using a compost bin, or make a compost heap.

The centre says other ways of disposing of your organic waste include:

  • Feeding it to a worm farm: avoid citrus, spicy food, garlic, onions, meat, dairy and processed foods such as bread and pastas.
  • If you live in an apartment, the Bokashi Bin Bucket, designed to be used in the kitchen, might be more suitable, or you might be able to find a community garden to take your organic waste to.

International Compost Awareness Week was marked last week.