How to Start Your Own Compost Bin in Australia
Here at The Swag, we’re all about sustainable living and taking care of the environment and one fantastic way to do this is to use a compost bin, which is an enclosed version of a compost heap or compost pile, in your home or business. There are numerous benefits of starting your own compost bin including sending less waste to landfill, reducing pollution and promoting the growth of fruit, vegetables, flowers, plants and trees. Below we have compiled a list of tips and tricks, so you can quickly and easily start your very own compost pile today:
Build or Buy a Compost Bin
The first step is to source a bin to create compost in. If you’re a dab-hand with a saw and a drill, it is possible to make a great-looking and functional compost bin with timber planks. Or plastic compost bins can be sourced quite cheaply from most garden centres or hardware stores.
Choose Your Spot
It pays to have a good think about where to place your compost bin and the best option is a nice flat area which is well-drained. This is also ideal for worms to get amongst it and start creating that sweet compost. Your compost bin will need a solid army of worms to work properly as worms love a damp, moist environment and work hard to turn your everyday organic waste into liquid feed and compost.
Make Sure You Put the Right Waste Materials in Your Bin
It is super important that you put the right materials in the bin and good things to include are vegetable peelings, fruit waste, tea leaves and coffee granules, plant offcuts and grass cuttings. These will break down quickly as well as proving moisture and nitrogen. Add fallen leaves, wet label-free cardboard such as egg boxes or even scrunched up paper to provide fibre and carbon and create some air pockets in the compost bin. Crushed eggshells are also fine to add as they provide minerals to the equation.
Never Put the Wrong Materials in the Compost Bin!
While it’s crucial to put the right organic waste in a compost bin, it’s even more important that you don’t put the wrong stuff in there. Never put any meat, dairy products, dog or cat poo, oily or fatty waste, babies’ nappies or diseased plants in there. Also avoid putting weeds in the bin and naturally, nothing man-made should ever go in the bin including plastic, metal, glass or any labels etc.
Balance and Air Are Key!
The best compost is made from the right mix of different materials or ‘greens and browns’. If the compost is too wet and sludgy, add some browns and vice versa if it’s too dry, add some greens. There also needs to be enough air getting to the mixture so regular turning is important. Turning helps to aerate and blend the waste leading to better quality compost, faster! Using a compost activator is a great way to ensure your waste turns out as planned so ask your local garden centre about them.
Time to Reap the Rewards!
If all the above is done right, you should have a rich, brown layer of crumbly compost at the bottom of your bin. It should have a spongy texture and this compost will be packed with nutrients and should be spread in plant pots or flower beds, improving soil quality and reducing the need for nasty pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Enjoy the composting process!