International Composting Awareness Week (Australia)

Sunday 3 May – Saturday 9 May 2020

Better Soil, Better Life, Better Future

International Compost Awareness Week Australia (ICAW), is a week of activities, events and publicity to improve awareness of the importance of  compost, a valuable organic resource and to promote compost use, knowledge and products. We can compost to help scrap carbon pollution by avoiding landfilling organic materials and helping to build healthier soils.

ICAW Australia is an initiative of the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE), a not-for-profit organisation conducting year round organic research, education and awareness activities.

CORE also organises National Organic Week Australia (NOW).

Within these two programs CORE promotes and manages the key aspects that lead to community change towards organic products and practices.

Home Composting

Each year over half of our household garbage is made up of food and garden waste. Most of this organic waste can be recycled by composting it.

By turning food scraps and organic garden waste into compost you can:

  • Improving soil quality and garden vitality by releasing rich nutrients into the soil.

  • Suppressing plant diseases and pests, this reduces or eliminates the need for chemical fertilisers and manures helping you save money.

  • Reducing the amount of organic waste going to landfill therefore preventing greenhouse gas emissions and leachate which can pollute land, groundwater and waterways.

  • Helping soils retain moisture – you do not need to water that often.

  • Helping absorb and filter runoff, protecting streams from erosion and pollution.

What to add in your compost bin:

Vegetable and fruit scraps, vegetable oil, prunings and lawn clippings, tea bags and coffee, grounds, vacuum dust, shredded paper and cardboard, used potting mix, egg shells, flowers.

What not to add in your compost bin:

Meat and bones, dairy products, diseased plants, metals, plastic and glass, animal manures, fat, magazines, large branches, weeds that have seeds or underground stems, sawdust from treated timber, pet droppings, synthetic chemicals.

Click here for information on home composting, on-farm composting and commercial composting.

About composting

Approximately 50% of the rubbish Australians put in the everyday mixed-waste ‘garbage bin’ could be put to better use in the garden as compost and mulch or could be returned to agricultural land to improve soil quality. Based on 25 Council audits conducted by EC Sustainable in 2011, around 33% of the rubbish is food organics (including peelings) and about 10% is garden vegetation.

Alarmingly, such a huge amount of organically-active material buried ‘anaerobically’ (without air) in landfills causes over 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions annually through the production of methane gas (which has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide).

Direct sequestration of this organic material greatly increases carbon in the soil reducing the effects of climate change. In addition to this, using compost on land reduces the need for water by an average of 30%, greatly improves soil quality and helps grow beautiful vegetables and fruit!

According to EC Sustainable’s latest figures, the amount of compostable material in Australian’s garbage bin has decreased by approximately 5% over the past 2 years thanks to Council initiatives and better household awareness on composting benefits.

All information on this page was sourced from: https://www.compostweek.com.au/

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