Reduce garden waste
Creating a more sustainable garden and doing your bit for the environment is easy for the keen home gardener. Recycling food scraps and green waste can provide nutrient-rich compost for your garden and keep valuable resources out of landfill.
Green waste recycling
Gold Coast residents can drop off clean, green garden waste free of charge at all City waste and recycling centres and landfills for recycling into either organic compost products or renewable energy.
Residents can also sign up for an optional green waste bin collection service.
“Home composting and worm farming is an important operation we have in minimising and utilising waste. When done properly, home composting and worm farming will deliver valuable organic matter and nutrients for residential gardens, and with it a range of environmental and community benefits. Composting and worm farming can be a winner for everyone.”
Johannes Biala (Chair, Compost Queensland)
Our Organic Recycling at Home fact sheet has great advice on the benefits of composting and worm farming and how to set up your own worm farm, whether in a big back yard or tiny duplex patio. Let’s share the responsibility of better managing organic waste and the benefits that come with it – rich compost to keep a garden blooming!
Did you know almost half of the domestic waste that goes to City's landfills is kitchen and garden waste that can be recycled in a compost bin or worm farm?
For more information, read the Composting case study by Phillipa Martin.
Breed your own worms for a cheap, organic waste-disposal system. Worms are a sure sign all is well in your garden and a great natural means of treating home organic waste.
Did you know about 20,000 worms will consume a kilogram of organic waste a day, more if the waste is finely pulped?
Best of all, it is possible to have a worm factory in your backyard, even if it's just an inner-city patio. There are only three rules you must follow.
- Your first step is to make sure your compost bin or factory is placed in a cool, shady position. If it is wood, it tolerates more heat than plastic, but a cool spot is best. Always keep it moist.
- Worms dislike acidity, so avoid adding citrus, onions, pineapple and so on. If the bin becomes too acidic, add a teaspoon or dessertspoon of dolomite. If you have a lot of insects or ants around your bin, the material is becoming too acidic or you are overfeeding the worms. It’s a good idea to use dolomite once a month, even if you are keeping acidic organic matter out.
- Do not add huge amounts of chicken manure or grass clippings that can create a lot of heat. If you do, your worms will leave or die.
You can create a good environment for worms almost anywhere and in anything - a compost heap or a worm factory. It is important to understand the difference between creating compost from waste and using worms to consume waste.
In compost bins, your aim is to create heat to break down any materials and eliminate any diseases.
In worm factories, your aim is to keep the area cool and moist so the worms can feed on the waste and then eliminate it in the form of rich castings. Worms purify the waste, so you do not need heat to stop diseases.
For more information, read the Worm farm case study by Doug and Cherly Hay.
Worms breed prolifically, are not susceptible to disease, do not smell and have a wonderful way of regulating numbers - they only breed if there is enough food and housing available. Once they reach capacity, they stop breeding.
- The best way to introduce worms to your garden is to spread the castings around.
- The eggs are contained in the castings and they will hatch in the garden, if there is a lot of food and heavy mulching.
- Drying out is the biggest problem. If you’re going away for a week or two, place a thick cover of wet newspaper or old carpet on the top of the bin.
- Worms consume up to half their own body weight per day, and the softer and mushier the food you give them, the quicker they will eat.
- Worms are obsessed with gaining weight and the fatter your worms, the more food they eat, the quicker your castings develop.
For your local worm supplier, look under 'Worm farms' in the Yellow Pages directory.