Composting

First off, we are going to talk about composting!
With suspension of brown bin and recycling services there is going to be a lot of excess waste!
One solution is to start composting our food scraps, waste paper and garden rubbish but if you’ve never composted before this might be a bit daunting! Never fear, Belville is here!

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There are several solutions that could be used but we’re going to focus on cheap, quick and simple. We will have a longer blog post available shortly with much more detailed information for those who want to know!

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So let’s get started!
An old bin or large similar type container is ideal, one with a lid is perfect. You will need small holes drilled or punched (carefully) round the sides and base. This is essential for air flow to maintain aerobic conditions. Keep them small to prevent compost falling out. Alternatively, if you have the space you could construct a compost bay with 4 pallets for example but a lidded bin will prevent problems with vermin.

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The contents of your bin need to be a mix of green and brown wastes. By that we mean, green waste is nitrogen based and includes food scraps, fresh grass and plant clippings. Brown waste is carbon based and includes dead leaves, waste paper and card, and dead wood. A ratio of about 2:1 to 1:1 green to brown is recommended.

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Don’t try to compost cooked foods or meat and dairy, in a new system if you are inexperienced. It is difficult to maintain the conditions that will break down these food stuffs safely and not compromise your compost pile. Compost your fruit and veg scraps, uncooked foods, garden waste and paper waste (make sure to remove all plastics from paper)!

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Similarly, avoid high acid foods, (e.g. Onions, tomatoes, citrus) or at least too much of them at a time, chop and distribute if adding.

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Your pile needs regularly forking over, which can be difficult if using a static bin, a long handled fork will help, or, create a second bin to move the contents between for aeration. Turning once a week should be enough but if it starts to smell turn immediately, this is anaerobic conditions developing and your compost needs oxygen to right itself. Regular turning will speed up the composting process but too often will prevent beneficial organisms from developing!

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Compost produced in this fashion is typically ready to use in 6 months to a year which seems a long process but we’re in life for the long haul remember!

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Other quicker solutions can include things like Bokashi bins, which are relatively inexpensive kitchen units that use anaerobic conditions and can compost cooked foods.

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Please don’t use compost worms in a system that is not in contact with the soil. If your compost heap is on a soil base the worms will show up all on their own (wonderful little creatures)!

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Many of us share outdoor spaces (if we have them at all) so be courteous, make your neighbours aware of your intentions. Maybe they want to join in. Imagine, a whole close full of neighbours working together to develop a sustainable waste management system, bliss!
We hope this helps some of you get started composting, any questions, ask away!

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