Approximately 50 George residents attended a presentation at the George Botanical Garden Education Centre last Wednesday to grab the opportunity to start their own compost bin and worm farm. The residents are part of a pilot project where they received composting bins and worm farming bins to start off.
According to Johan Gie, a representative of the Garden Route District Municipality, who did the presentation at the event, approximately 30% of all household waste, being disposed of at a landfill site, consists of organic waste that could potentially be diverted from the landfill by means of household composting. The George Municipality in collaboration with Garden Route District Municipality initiated the household composting pilot project in the George Municipal area that will run for one year.
The data collected will be used to motivate the extension of the project to all households in the George municipal area. The residents are all people that generate kitchen waste, for example raw vegetable and fruit waste, and have green waste that is generated from their gardens. The waste generated must be weighed and statistics must be kept for one year.
Some of the benefits of composting are that it acts as a soil conditioner, meaning it helps to retain moisture in the soil, you reduce waste to the landfill site, composting is a natural alternative to chemical fertilizer and it saves money.
Items that make good compost are kitchen waste, fruit and vegetable scraps, crushed eggshells, green leaves, grass clippings, garden plants, lawn and garden weeds, coffee grounds, tea leaves/bags and manure. Carbon based materials like shrub prunings, wood ash, dry leaves, cardboard, newspaper and shredded paper and sawdust and wood chips also make for good compost.
Items that are not good for composting are anything containing meat, oil, fat or grease, diseased plant material, sawdust or woodchips from treated wood, dog or cat faeces, weeds that have seeds, dairy products, coal ash, cooked foods, nappies and used tissues, glossy or coloured paper.
Worm farms are a bit more complicated with certain stuff the worms don’t like, such as citrus and other acid food scraps including garlic and onion families.
If you want to start your own composting bin or worm farm you can contact Johan Gie at the Garden Route District Municipality on 044 803 1300 for more information.
Photo: Johan: Johan Gie from the Garden Route District Municipality presenting the composting project to George residents.