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Home tips: What to know about composting and how to do it

Image: Pixabay

Are you an urban gardener? Would you like to save money while fighting global warming? Do you want to reduce the amount of waste you generate? If you answer yes to any of these questions, composting might just be for you. 

 

What is composting?

Put simply, it is a low-cost, natural method of transforming your household waste into rich fertiliser. Contrary to belief, you don’t need a lot to start composting. In fact, if you have a garden, you can even dig a hole, bury your kitchen scraps and you are on your way. However, in our high-rise, high-density conditions, in order to avoid the wrath of our neighbours by attracting pests and vermin, it is best to keep our eco-experiments to a compost bin.

 

Easy composting

While you can easily buy a compost bin for a few hundreds of dollars, it is cheaper to make your own. All you need is a large plastic container with a lid. The size of the container depends on the amount of household waste you generate, and the amount of compost you want to produce. Next, drill small holes into the side and bottom of the container to allow air in and moisture out. (If excess water is not drained out, the contents will turn wet and stinky, thus slowing down the composting process.) Line the bin with shredded cardboard and newspaper to hold in the contents. Fill your bin with some soil, followed by your household waste. Sit back and relax. Your compost should generate heat as the microorganisms get to work. In three to six months’ time, you will have a rich, dark, crumbly soil ready for use!

 

 

What to compost:

  • Dry leaves
  • Paper products
  • Straw, hay
  • Sawdust
  • Kitchen scraps, e.g., coffee grounds, fruit pits, vegetables, eggshells
  • Tea bags

 

What not to compost:

  • Meat and bones
  • Fats and oils
  • Dairy products
  • Faeces
  • Charcoal
  • Wood ashes
  • Treated wood products
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