Australians send 4.5 million tonnes of food waste to landfill each year. To help you picture what that might look like, consider that an Asian elephant adult can weigh up to 5 tonnes – so that’s 900,000 elephants’ worth of food waste. This waste generates 16.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-e) greenhouse gas emissions annually. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 trap heat and help to warm our planet, which is impacting badly on our environment.
The good news is that it’s really easy for all of us to make a positive difference. By simply composting food scraps at home, the average Australian household can divert 120kgs of waste from landfill and 192kgs of greenhouse gas emissions every year. And you don’t need a backyard – no matter where you live, there is a compost solution for you.
Taronga is passionate about finding solutions to waste, and has recently implemented a new food waste stream in all of our catering kitchens and animal food preparation area. Our waste will be collected and brought to Earthpower to be turned into electricity and fertilizer pellets. It is anticipated that 30 tonnes of food scraps will be diverted from our general waste per annum. It will also mitigate around 57 tonnes of CO2-e being released into the atmosphere – this is equivalent to removing 18 cars from the road for one year.
This International Compost Awareness Week (6–12 May) we are also partnering with Compost Revolution, the largest community of composters in Australia, to help you find the best compost solution for your home. The Compost Revolution works with councils across Australia to offer you discounted composting gear (up to 80 per cent off RRP) with convenient home delivery. They also offer helpful online tutorials to get you started – or even just improve on – your composting journey.
Currently, Compost Revolution diverts 40 tonnes of food waste from landfill and save 76 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per week, between 30,000 households across the country. In partnership with 52 councils in five states and territories, they have collectively diverted more than 6500 tonnes of waste from landfill, cutting greenhouse gas emission by 12,500 tonnes.
Excitingly, you can now join the movement and support Taronga’s conservation efforts at the same time. For every purchase of a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin through Compost Revolution’s website – using the code TARONGA – $5 will be donated to Taronga Conservation Society.
See below for some of Compost Revolution’s top tips for composting at home, and visit their website to discover what discount you are eligible for: www.compostrevolution.com.au
If you have a compost bin…
Set it up in a sheltered spot with good drainage and lots of sun.
Feed your compost a 50/50 mix of food scraps and carbon-based ingredients like dry leaves, newspaper, hay or coffee husks.
Help your compost to breathe by stirring it every time you feed it.
Add dry materials or water as needed to keep your compost moist, but not too wet.
If you have a worm farm…
Your worm farm is best kept indoors or outdoors sheltered from the sun, rain, and extreme temperatures.
Feed your worm farm small amounts of fruit and vegetable scraps, but no garden scraps!
Harvest worm juice weekly so it doesn't fill up with liquid, and castings every few months.
Pour 1 litre of water through your worm farm each week to keep it moist, but not too wet.
Dilute your worm wee with water about 10 to 1 to the colour of weak tea to make perfect fertiliser.