Outdoor Living

Backyards are potential farms in the making

Australia currently generates around 50 million tonnes of waste every year. Of this 7.6 million tonnes is food waste. With available areas for landfill slowly diminishing, the need to establish cost effective and sustainable alternatives to landfill is crucial. One low cost way is to divert food waste from landfills and return its nutrients and carbon back to soil through composting.

Compost can play a crucial role in achieving long-term sustainability and we can all play an important role. In 2018, we are promoting an innovative concept to Australia – Urban Agriculture. In recent years, it has become popular and successful in other parts of the world and the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE) is working with the Queensland Government and Greening Australia to advance the idea of Urban Agriculture here in Australia.

May 6th to 12th 2018 marks the 13th International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) held in Australia. This is a week during which Australians are encouraged to promote the importance and benefits of composting, through workshops, demonstrations or tours. All types of composting events that encourages and celebrates composting can be registered and promoted on the official ICAW event calendar. CORE, a not-for-profit charity has been championing this international campaign exclusively in Australia for 13 years in an effort to improve soil quality and at the same time reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills.

“We continue to promote sustainable living among local communities. Farming is not restricted to rural areas; we can have smaller but nevertheless productive farms in urban areas and enjoy fresh produce at our doorsteps. We use compost to nurture our soils and eliminate synthetic chemicals to ensure we get high quality, sustainably grown food” says Eric Love, Chairman of the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE).

“You don’t need to be a farmer either to grow fresh food. Every backyard at home is also a potential productive urban farm. We can all enjoy healthy, locally grown food, reduce waste and close the loop on food waste by turning it into compost. There is a clear link between high quality food and reducing food waste going to landfill” explains Love.

Major supporters of 2018’s campaign include the Queensland Department of Environment and Science and Grampians Central West Waste & Resources Recovery Group (GCWWRRG). La Vergne Lehmann, Executive Officer of GCWWRRG said “Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group is committed to educating the community about the important role that organic composting plays in our waste system. Many of our communities are participating in our community compost events and activities to increase their knowledge and understanding of composting throughout May 2018 and we look forward to joining them in celebrating International Compost Awareness Week in their community.”

Below are some ideas for disposing your organic waste:

  • Compost it using a compost bin or make your own compost heap!
  • Feed it to a worm farm – avoid citrus, spicy food, garlic, onions, meat, dairy and processed foods such as bread, pasta…
  • If you live in an apartment, the Bokashi Bin Bucket might be more suitable or you can also find a community garden near you to give your organic waste to, they usually have a few compost bins and worm farms.

Source: CORE