Composting Food Waste
Continuing the posts on food waste in the lead up to Food Waste week in March I would like to briefly summarise the position in respect to composting and the role we can play in reducing the:
- waste sent to landfill and the
- road miles associated with kerbside food collection.
In addition, food composting at home reduces the need for bonfires on allotments and in gardens and the smoke nuisance they can cause.
Home composting has long been promoted as a way of dealing with uncooked food, but much has been made of the “problem” dealing with meat and fish, dairy products and leftover cooked food with many sources incorrectly saying that these cannot be composted as the compost would smell and attracts flies and rats.
As discussed in recent posts cooked food can be composted at home quite easily.
The simplest method if you already have a compost bin such as a Dalek is to Bokashi the food waste and then add it to the compost bin or if you do not have sufficient garden add it to a soil factory. http://www.carryoncomposting.com/416920212
However, the are several home compost bins designed to treat cooked food waste available at relatively low prices. http://www.carryoncomposting.com/142941463
The Green Johanna is a compost bin which includes a base unit will take two parts food waste mixed with one part garden waste. The bin will take the kitchen waste produced by a family of five.
The Hotbin is available with a 100 litre or 200 litre capacity bin and will operate at between 400 to 600C C if feed at least 5 kg of waste per week producing compost in 90 days.
The Jorraform 125 is a metal tumbler dual chambered bin designed for the fast composting of food waste from larger families or small cafes etc.
Biolan Quick Composter and the Biolan Biowaste Composters are more expensive and are designed for year-round composting of domestic kitchen biowaste.
The Green Cone is frequently mentioned in articles on food composting, but it is not a compost bin but a food digester which needs to be partially buried in well-drained soil. The food waste is housed in a basket below ground level and the cone acts as a solar panel to help heat the contents. It is not suitable for clay soils and does not take garden waste. It can work well and deal with the waste from a waste conscious family but that many people confuse it with a compost bin and fill it above ground level, or add garden waste, and experience problems.
A large wormery will compost most types of leftover food but it is necessary to bury the food waste with about 2-5cm of bedding otherwise it will smell and attract flies. This makes it impractical to use a normal sized stacking wormery to dispose of significant amounts of cooked food waste on a regular basis. The is a new wormery which is buried in the garden and could be used to deal with regular small amounts of cooked food waste without attracting flies of creating unpleasant odours. http://www.carryoncomposting.com/142941459
The pie chart shows the ration of different compostable household waste
A CarryonComposting Power point and Zoom presentation will be available during the week.