Food waste and composting


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Food waste and composting

One of the easiest ways to help reduce landfill is through composting. This also replenishes the soil's nutrients which can be used to grow your own vegetablesi.

It is important to balance the amount of nitrogen-rich food scraps and carbon-rich garden clippings in your compost bin.

By using a compost bin or worm farm you can help reduce the environmental impact of food wastage. Of all food purchased by Australians, 20% is thrown out: it's a waste of resources needed to produce the food as well as a waste of moneyi! In New South Wales, each household throws away, on average, more than $1000 of food per yearii.

Food waste can be categorised as either avoidable or unavoidable. Unavoidable food waste includes food scraps that can be compostediii. Avoidable food waste includes food thrown away because it's spoilt, rotten or no longer wantedi. Composting and worm farming can make use of food waste, reducing the environmental impacts of all that waste going to landfilliv, v.

Compost bin

A compost bin works best if you are in a household of more than two people and preferably have a gardeni. Bacteria and other micro-organisms break down many types of materials, so make sure you provide both food scraps and garden materiali.

Benefits of a compost bin include:

Tips:

A worm farm can be a very effective method of composting.

Worm farming

Worms love to eat fruit and vegetables, so these types of scraps are best. It's important to note they do not eat citrus fruits, onions or garlicviii.

Benefits of worm farming include:




Tips:


i Waverley Municipal, Randwick City, Woollahra Councils and NSW Environmental Trust, 2013, 'Be part of the compost revolution: your guide to home composting & wormfarming', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://reduceyourfootprint.com.au/media/uploads/attachments/Compost_Revolution_Booklet_APR12_DOWNLOAD.pdf

ii Environmental Protection Authority, NSW Government, 2012, 'Home', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/

iii Environmental Protection Authority, NSW Government, 2012, 'Save it from landfill', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/save-it/save-it-from-landfill.aspx

iv Environmental Protection Authority, NSW Government, 2012, 'Worm farm it', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/save-it/save-it-from-landfill/worm-farm-it.aspx

v Environmental Protection Authority, NSW Government, 2012, 'Compost it', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/save-it/save-it-from-landfill/compost-it.aspx

vi Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW Government, 2013, 'Easy Composting', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/households/EasyCompost.htm

vii Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW Government, 2012, 'All about composting', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/downtoearth/composting.htm

viii Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW Government, 2011, 'What is worm farming?', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/downtoearth/worm.htm

ix Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW Government, 2013, 'Easy Worm Farming', viewed 19 July 2013,
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/households/EasyWormfarm.htm