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Composting products and tips

Did you know that about 50% of the material in the average household kerbside garbage bin in Bayside is food waste? Much of this material can be composted.

Composting is a great way of turning your food scraps, grass, and garden clippings into a source of free garden food and soil improver, as well as reducing the amount of landfill waste in your kerbside bin. There are even composting options for people who live in apartments or have limited outdoor space.

We do not currently sell or supply compost bins and worm farms. Composting products can be purchased from your local hardware store.

Which type of composting product is right for me?

Compost bins take most food scraps and garden waste and are suitable for large gardens. All you need is a compost bin and some space in your backyard.

How do I get started?

  1. Purchase a compost bin and find a sunny, well-drained location in your garden. 
  2. Turn over the soil in the area that you will place the compost bin. Turn over the soil to make it easier for beneficial bacteria and worms to access your compost.
  3. Add a few inches of branches and twigs on the bottom of your compost bin. This initial layer will help encourage air to circulate.

How do I add material?

The most effective way is to add alternate layers of green (garden waste, lawn clippings) and brown (food waste) material. Keep alternating until the compost bin is full. The material at the bottom should have broken down into rich compost. Open the small door at the base of your unit to access the compost.

What can I put in my compost bin?

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Grass clippings
  • Fresh manure
  • Coffee grounds
  • Plant cuttings
  • Hair
  • Eggshells

Materials to keep out of your compost

  • Meat and fish products
  • Bones
  • Fats
  • Whole eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Human and pet faeces
  • Kitty litter
  • Treated wood
  • Plastic or other rubbish

Do you have a green-lidded Bayside food and green waste bin? Many of the items which cannot be composted in your garden, can be composted using the food and green waste service

What do I do with compost?

  • Spread your compost around garden plants as a mulch, applying it up to 40mm deep.
  • Dig in plenty of compost and well-rotted manure a couple of weeks before planting out veggie patches. Let it all break down for a fortnight or so, then start planting.
  • Mix together 4 parts compost with 1 part shredded sphagnum moss and 2 parts coarse river sand to make a potting mix.

Worm farms are perfect for small spaces and take a range of food scraps. They are also great educational tools for kids to learn about the environment.

A worm farm turns your food waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser for your plants and soils. Worms eat organic waste and turn it into worm castings and liquid. Both the liquid and worm castings can be and used on your garden as a fertiliser to help your plants thrive.

How do I get started?

Purchase a worm farm

Go to your local hardware store and purchase a worm farm. Find a cool shady spot to locate it.

Create a bed for your worms

Your worms will need a bed inside their box. The bedding material should be made out of good-quality soil, leaves and shredded paper. The worm bed should be around 15cm deep. Add a little water to the bed, it needs to be kept moist but not wet.

Add some worms

Gently add worms to your worm farm and watch them burrow in. You should wait at least 24 hours before feeding them to allow them time to get used to their new surroundings.

Feed your worms

Add your food scraps regularly in small amounts. Cover new food with a light layer of bedding material or a handful of soil or compost.

Harvest worm liquid and castings

As the worms eat your kitchen scraps, they will produce castings that will drop to the bottom of the unit. To collect the worms castings, simply lift the tray up in order to access them. You can use your castings to improve soil quality and for fertilising around plants. Worms also produce a liquid, which can be drained off using the tap at the base of your worm farm. Make sure you dilute it with 4 parts water to 1 part liquid before use.

What can I put in my worm farm?

  • Vegetables and fruit peelings
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Crushed eggshells
  • Small amounts of shredded paper and fallen leaves

Materials to keep out of your worm farm

  • Meat and fish products
  • Dairy
  • Fats
  • Dog and cat droppings
  • Grass clippings
  • Garden pruning
  • Magazines and glossy paper
  • Plastic or other rubbish

Do you have a green-lidded Bayside food and green waste bin? Many of the items which cannot be composted in your garden, can be composted using the food and green waste service

Biofermenters take a wide variety of food scraps and can be kept in your kitchen. Ideal for apartments and units, they are a convenient and practical way to transform your kitchen waste into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner.

The Bokashi Bucket is an indoor biofermenting unit that turns your kitchen waste into rich soil conditioner. They are a great alternative for those who don’t have space for a compost bin, but still want to reduce their food waste to landfill.

How does it work?

Bokashi is a Japanese term that means ‘fermented organic matter’. It uses beneficial microbes to ferment organic waste rather than compost it. The end result is a fermented mass of waste that can go straight in the soil. There is no need to compost, and it doesn't smell.

How do I get started?

Using the Bokashi Bucket is very simple.

  1. Place your kitchen waste into the bucket, then sprinkle a hand full of Bokashi grain mix over the waste and then close the lid.
  2. Repeat this layering process until the Bokashi Bucket is full.
  3. Drain off the liquid (Bokashi Juice) as necessary.

What can I put in my Bokashi Bucket?

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Prepared foods
  • Cooked and uncooked meat
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Wilted flowers
  • Tissues

Materials to keep out of your Bokashi Bucket

  • Garden and lawn clippings
  • Bones
  • Pet faeces
  • Plastic or other rubbish
  • Milk, fruit juice and other liquids

Bokashi juice

As the kitchen waste starts to ferment, Bokashi juice will form in the bottom of the bucket. This should be drained off as it builds up. Simply use the tap at the bottom of the bucket to drain the fluid into a suitable container. Bokashi juice can be diluted with water and makes a terrific fertiliser for garden or pot plants. It can be poured down drains and it is safe to use in septic tanks.

Burying Bokashi compost

Burying Bokashi waste in the soil will supply the plants with a nourishing food source and condition your soil with enriching microbes. The micro-organisms in the Bokashi mix significantly accelerate the composting process.

To bury simply dig a hole or trench approximately 20–25cm deep. Add your Bokashi waste and mix in some soil and cover with the remaining soil. Alternatively, you can add Bokashi waste to a compost bin. If you do not have outside space or a compost to bury your Bokashi waste, contact a local community garden, or find a local compost on ShareWaste