I was a bit hesitant to start composting, I’m not great in the garden and I didn’t want anything too hard to maintain. I also didn’t want to invest a lot of money into it as I really wasn’t sure if I’d keep it up. So I went down to Bunnings and got myself pretty much the most basic compost bin you can get, picked the perfect spot for it in the garden and got started by filling it up with food scraps and garden waste, and I couldn’t be happier that I did because it’s really easy and it’s halved the amount of rubbish we send to landfill.
So this is my simple composting guide for people who don’t want to invest lots of time and money into their composting endeavours. First off you’ll need a compost bin, it’s pretty overwhelming how many options there are and you can get really fancy ones which tumble to easily turn the compost, super basic ones and ones with worms. I don’t like the thought of dealing with worms so I just use a stock standard bin which pretty much just looks like an upside down rubbish bin. In hind sight I wish I got a bigger one as I put a lot of waste in there.
Its pretty amazing how much waste can actually be composted, we’re down to one small bag of rubbish a week now as we divert most of it to the compost bin or recycle bin and we also separate all the soft plastic and take it to our RedCycle bin, oh and feed the meat scraps to the cat
Under the kitchen sink I keep a small bin exclusively for compost scraps, if I was purchasing one I would get something like this stainless steel compost pail but I use a little plastic bin that was given to us instead of being thrown out. I keep it next to the normal bin to make it as easy as possible, instead of putting the scraps in the regular waste bin I put them into the bin destined for the compost, once a week I’ll dump the scraps into the compost and wash out the small bin before putting it back under the sink.
Once you have your compost bin and you start filling it with scraps you need to turn it so the waste can actually break down into compost. I found this super handy tool at Bunnings which is just like a big cork screw, you screw it into the compost and then lift it up to move the older waste up to the top. It’s extremely easy to do, I started off using a garden fork and it was hard work but now with this tool it only takes me about 5 minutes. It’s ideal to do this once a week but honestly sometimes I leave it for a month and it’s still ok.
When I was first researching how to compost I read about about layering different types of waste and turning really frequently which was why I was a bit hesitant but I literally just put everything I can into the compost bin, turn it occasionally and I still get great compost out of it. Maybe I could get better compost or reduce the amount of time it takes to break down but this works for me and I honestly think if it was too much hard work I might have given up on it.
I would encourage absolutely everyone to start composting, it’s as low or high maintenance as you want it to be. There are so many options out there but for me simple and low maintenance works best. I’ve also started growing herbs and vegetables so being able to give the very sandy a soil a boost with really rich compost is amazing, and how awesome is the added bonus of not having to buy expensive bags of compost!
There a are lots of articles with the ins and outs of composting, here’s a handy composting fact sheet which goes into layering if you’d like to know more about that, I’m certainly not an expert!
So there you have it, for about $100 you can get everything you need to start composting, it’ll take up about 10 minutes of your time a week and in a few months you’ll have amazing rich soil you can add back into your garden, not to mention all the waste you’ll be diverting from landfill, pretty great hey?