Clutha District Council’s (CDC) free compost workshops were well attended at Milton and Balclutha community gardens last Saturday and Sunday, where CDC’s waste education officer Scott Martin shared the science and practicalities of turning organic waste into earth.
Mr Martin’s workshops were part of the council’s 2018 waste management and minimisation plan aiming to reduce environmental harm and maximise community benefits, reflecting an aspirational goal of zero waste.
Home composting is a ‘‘win-win-win-win process,’’ Mr Martin said.
‘‘It removes organic waste from landfills, improves soil fertility at home while improving community health through growing and eating local, nutrient-dense food without the carbon footprint attached to most commercially available food, and it saves money on fertiliser and food bills.
‘‘Composting is a fun, cheap and easy process that is forgiving by nature — any mistake can be remedied,’’ he said.
Presently, more than half the kerbside rubbish collected for local landfills is classified as compostable organic waste.
‘‘The natural decomposition of organic material by microorganisms, fungi and invertebrates into nutrient-rich soil is how forests perpetuate their fertility,’’ Mr Martin said.
‘‘Home composting is where we emulate this process to turn waste into a resource at a scale that suits our home environment.’’
Composting replicates the conditions and systems that promote beneficial aerobic organisms to thrive and do all the work converting organic waste inputs into the naturally slow-release fertiliser of composted soil.
More workshops are planned.