What Can I Compost?
Anything that was once living will compost, but some items are best avoided. Meat, dairy and cooked food can attract cockraches and rats and should not be placed in compost bins.
For best results, use a mixture of ingredient with equal amounts by volume of greens and browns (see below).
Some things, like grass mowings and soft young weeds, rot quickly. They work as 'activators', getting the composting started, but on their own will decay to a smelly mess.
Older and tougher plant material is slower to rot but gives body to the finished compost - and usually makes up the bulk of a compost heap. Woody items decay very slowly; they are best chopped or shredded first, where appropriate.
1. Green or nitrogen rich ingredients - 45%
- Raw vegetable peelings from your kitchen
- Tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds
- Young green weed growth avoid weeds with seeds
- Soft green prunings, Comfrey leaves, Grass cuttings
- Animal manure from herbivores ONLY eg cows and horses
- Poultry manure and bedding
2. Brown or carbon rich ingredients - 45%
- Cardboard eg. cereal packets and egg boxes
- Waste paper and junk mail, including shredded confidential waste
- Cardboard tubes
- Newspaper although it is better for the environment to send your newspapers for recycling
- Bedding from vegetarian pets eg rabbits, guinea pigs, hay, straw, shredded paper, wood shavings
- Tough hedge clippings, Woody prunings, Old bedding plants, Bracken
- Sawdust, Wood shavings
3. Other compostable items - 10%
- Wood ash, in moderation
- Hair, nail clippings
- Egg shells (crushed)
- Natural fibres eg. 100% wool or cotton
IMPORTANT: Do NOT compost
- Cooked food
- Coal & coke ash
- Cat litter
- Dog faeces
- Disposable nappies
Chippendale Composting Bins Facts:
Total number of road bins operating = 7
Streets with bins: Rose St = 2; Myrtle near Rose - 1; Shepherd between Grafton and Daniels = 3; Abercrombie near Meagher = 1
Total amount of food waste being composted = 3 tonnes a year per bin = 24 tonnes a year
Total amount of soil being created for anyone's gardens and the road gardens = 8 tonnes a year
Minimum amount of climate pollution prevented each year = 8 tonnes a year
Vermin = nil
Cockroaches = nil
Smell = nil
Management = about 20 people in total or over 2 people per bin
Demand = Demand exceeds capacity as over 4 bins are full and closed to use at any one time
Interested in maintaining a compost bin?
- adding carbon (table napkins, shredded paper, cardboard mulch, coffee husks, leaves) a couple of times a week or when you put in your food
- turning the compost about once a week with an auger and removing any bottles, etc
- and, of course, you're welcome to remove compost when its ready and use it in your garden
and we will show you how!
We are very sad to anounce that all bins at the Pine St Creative arts centre are now gone. The Aerobins were a huge success when it came to people using it, people come from everywhere to use them and they were all well and truly overused; but they were also a huge failure because not many of us were taking care of it, so they became infested with cockroaches...
We are looking into a diffent bin, that will hopefully work better, but this time around we will need everyone's help, if you want to use it you must also take ownership of it. So to get an ideia of how many and how big bins we should be getting we are asking you all to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know of your interest in keeping composting your waste. we are also looking into getting composting workshops for our community, so we understand what really happens inside the bins and how to help take care of them!
Shepherd St bins:
The compost bins on Shepherd St have been filling up fast, thanks in large part to residents in the Savoy and to Maria at LMC. As a thankyou for her hard work, the first batch of rich soil has been used to support some of the ailing plants in her cafe that were in need of some new nutrition. When dealing with the bins it was great to note that the cockroaches that had plagued the first bin for a few months have finally been eradicated (either by heat or the copper sulfide), leaving all three bins free of cockies. I did a bit of digging around in the gardens aswell, and found it literally teeming with worms. I guess they love the rich soil! If we get much more compost I think we will need to dig a few more gardens to keep up.
While the majority of the Chippendale communal compost bins are out of service for the time being, we spent this sunny morning harvesting the rich, dark goodness from the Aerobin outside Cafe Guilia's on Abercrombie St.
Mike and Xavier were joined by first-time gardener Shanti, a local student with a background in sustainable design. It was her first time tackling compost and she picked it up in no time!
After extracting two wheelbarrow-loads of beautiful compost for the verge gardens, we added some more signage up Myrtle St pointing out friendly weeds. Check them out next time you walk through - the chickweed can be used in salads - good enough for Tetsuya's, good enough for us!
It's wonderful to see so many Chippendale locals taking advantage of the aerobins on the streets to turn our vegan kitchen scraps, crushed eggshells and garden clippings into deliciously rich soil for our verge gardens. When the bins get full, we temporarily close them with a glad-wrap seal to allow the bins to 'rest & digest'. this allows the organic matter to fully decompose, a process which we speed-up by regularly turning or aerating the content using one a nifty compost corkscrews aka augers, like this:
You'll notice that the Rose Street and Shepherd Street Aerobins and one of the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre yard Aerobins are currently resting and digesting. In the meantime, please use the remaining Aerobins on Abercrombie Street (currently going stealth behind a roadworks ahead sign) and in the Pine Street yard.
We've also got a communal wormfarm up and running at Pine St. The worms love vegan kitchen scraps, excluding citrus, onion and garlic, and prefer to dine on mashed or at least finely chopped rather than whole vegies as they don't have teeth!
Those new to the fine art of composting or a bit unsure how to use the Aerobins are encourage to come down to the Pine Street yard on a Friday morning at 9am for a demo. if you live near one of the bins and would like to work with someone else to monitor and maintain it (e.g. by removing inorganic waste, adding donated shredded paper & wood shavings and turning it weekly), please get in touch!
The composting cycle takes around 12 weeks, so if you see one of our Aerobins taped up and/or with one of these snazzy new signs on it, you'll know it's full and turning all those kitchen scraps, garden clippings, wood shavings and shredded paper into nutrient-rich compost for the street gardens... and your courtyard garden too!
Composting goodness is this month's theme, with only 2 of our 7 aerobins closed and the remainder open for business! You can deposit your vegetarian food scraps, garden clippings, shredded paper and wood shavings in the aerobins at the these locations:
- Abercrombie Street (eastern side, near Myrtle St)
- Myrtle Street (southern side, near Rose St)
- Shepherd Street (eastern side, near Daniels St)
- Pine Street Creative Arts Centre yard (western side)
- Rose Street (western side, near Myrtle St)
Rich, dark, fertile compost is what we're getting out of the aerobins which have been busily digesting of late, so feel free to grab some for the road gardens or your courtyard. The aerobins have a convenient hatch at the bottom for accessing the compost, so bring a bucket or wheelbarrow and get into it!
Please do not put inorganic waste such as plastic and cans into the aerobins - they're not compostable and hamper the aerobic process of breaking down organic matter into compost. Each week we remove inorganic matter from the aerobins, which is very tedious given the ample garbage and recycling facilities available in Chippendale.
Bins closed for resting, please do not use:
1. Myrtle st bin;
2. one of the ones on Rose st;
3. Abercrombie st bin.
The Composting matter should be done in about a month, which is when we will open them again!
Bins are all looking great everyone! good job, only found 1 plastic bag today, and no cockroaches!yey!
Now the bin on Rose st was way too full, please remember to not fill it over 30cm from the top!
Bins now closed:
1. Myrtle St bin
2. both Rose St bins.
Great weekend everyone!
one more bin closed for digesting today:
- Shepherd St bin;
so we now have 4 bins closed, please note the "Frog" bin is almost full, so please do not put your scraps there if the bin is full!!