To promote awareness about composting, Council is holding a competition in the month of May. You could win one of three 400L compost for your garden!

The Compost Awareness Month Competition is open to all Burdekin residents who complete an entry form at one of the three compost display stalls or answer a simple question on Council’s Facebook page.

The competition will close on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 with the three winners announced at the end of that week.

Visit the display stalls at the Burdekin Library Ayr and Home Hill branches as well as Council’s Customer Service Centre to learn more about the benefits of recycling.

International Composting Awareness Week is held on 2 – 8 May 2016. The aims of this campaign are to:

  • increase the diversion of organics from the main waste stream through awareness of home and community composting
  • increased awareness and proper utilisation of composts and mulches
  • highlight the environmental, social and economic benefits of composting

Over half our rubbish is made up of food and garden waste that can be recycled. Such a large amount of organically active material buried anaerobically (without air) in landfill causes over 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions annually through the production of methane gas.

By turning food scraps and organic garden waste into compost you can:

  • improve soil quality and garden vitality by releasing nutrients from compost into your soil.
  • improve drainage in clay soils and help sandy soils retain water
  • assist plant growth and disease resistance
  • help absorb and filter runoff, protecting streams from erosion and pollution
  • reduce unwanted insects, limiting the need for commercial herbicides and pests.
  • recycle valuable nutrients
  • reduce the use of artificial fertilizers
  • prevent greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduce the amount of waste going to landfill
  • save water (using mulch and compost on your garden can reduce water usage by up to 30%)
  • save money (that you would spend on fertilizers, soil conditioners, water)

What to add to your compost bin

  • vegetable and fruit scraps
  • vegetable oil
  • prunings and lawns clippings
  • tea bags and coffee
  • vacuum dust
  • shredded paper and cardboard
  • used potting mix
  • eggshells
  • flowers

What not to add to your compost bin

  • meat and bones
  • dairy products
  • diseased plants
  • metals
  • plastics and glass
  • animal manures
  • fat
  • magazines
  • large branches
  • weeds that have seeds or underground stems
  • sawdust from treated timber
  • pet droppings
  • synthetic chemicals

A four step guide to creating great compost

  1. Choose a site.

Place your compost heap or bin in a well-drained sit that has some shade. Too much sun will dry out your compost.

2. What to compost

  • Green ingredients – a mixture of nitrogen rich organic material such as fruit and vegetable peelings and green garden vegetation such as fresh grass clippings and green leaves.
  • Brown ingredients – nitrogen poor, carbon-rich materials such as dry leaves, woody twigs, paper and straw.
  • Water.
  • Some soil or completed compost to introduce composting microorganisms.

3. Layering

  • Start with a thick layer of course material such as twigs or mulch to allow for drainage.
  • Layer garden clippings and kitchen scraps with dry leaves and paper
  • Add water after each layer to keep heap moist but not wet
  • Finish by sprinkling soil or completed compost on top of food scraps which will make a richer compost and help reduce odours.

4. Maintaining your compost

Keep your compost well aerated by turning it on a weekly basis. This will help prevent foul odours and methane buildup.

Depending on the mix of ingredients, the duration for the compost to turn into rich soil can be anything from 6 weeks to 6 months.

 

Check out the International Composting Awareness Week Australia website for more information about events and competitions. http://www.compostweek.com.au/core/events/

For more information about starting up your own compost see the Clean Up Australia website. http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/LivingGreener/composting.html

Burdekin Shire Council has a green waste collection service and free green waste disposal for non-commercial rate payers at our transfer stations and landfill. This green waste is then mulched up and is available to residents for free. Mulch needs to be loaded by the person taking it, as Council does not provide a loader on site. If you require a large amount of mulch you can arrange to bring a loader on site providing the operator has all the relevant tickets and liability.

 

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