Organic waste composting: What apartment dwellers can do

How your kitchen scraps can help build a better tomorrow

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It’s 5:00 pm Sunday evening… time for wrapping my weekly gift. It is a gift of the week’s rubbish. This wasteful present is for my neighbour down the street, who is very happy to receive it.

Now, before you raise your eyebrows in distaste, let me tell you, this gift is biodegradable kitchen waste, and my neighbour Maureen is a composter.

I would love to be a composter myself, but since I live in an apartment, space is a constraint. And so, cue technology: apps like Sharewaste help people like me connect with composters in the neighbourhood.

Before I began doing this, a feeling of guilt would routinely come over me every time I packed organic waste into bin bags along with other nondegradable waste. Not only because I was aware that organic waste deserves to be given back to nature, but also because I knew once it goes to landfill, it would remain inside my packed bin bag, decomposing anaerobically and contributing to greenhouse gases, adding to climate change.

Lily Gabriel with composter Maureen
Compost friends: The author with Maureen (Source: Supplied)

I am thankful now for the knowledge I got from my university social project more than a decade ago, about wet and dry garbage segregation, and how wet garbage need not go into landfills but be composted.

Did you know, in 2016-17, Australia produced 7.3 million tonnes of food waste across the supply and consumption chain?

Of this, 2.5 million tonnes (34 per cent) was created in our homes, which is more than four kilograms per household per week. Organic waste in landfills emits methane, a gas that has a global warming potential between 28 and 36 times that of carbon dioxide. So, it’s not only our cars but also our kitchens, that contribute to climate change.

Yet there is a simple way for us as individuals to ensure we are not doing further. And that is – composting.

Organic waste composting can be as easy as burying our problems. Some composters use a simple trick of burying the household garbage in a dedicated spot on the ground in their garden. Others use a composting bin and micro-organisms like Bokashi powder to help them compost faster. In a matter of few months, voila, your kitchen waste disappears and reduces to natural fertilizer for the garden.

Agree, not all may be able to take up composting for various reasons, due to space constraints or lack of knowledge of composting, like me. This is where apps like Sharewaste help.

All you need is a box or bin to separate your kitchen waste, and a connection with a composter.

(Source: Supplied)

If you’re composting already, then it‘s a great service you are doing to the environment and to the future. Getting on to such apps helps you connect faster with your compost donors. After all, we all want our children to have a better future.

As you may have experienced, Australia is going through climate change already with changes to rainfall patterns, and increased extreme weather events like floods and bushfires. Across the world too, there are higher than average temperatures, melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Imagine how this will change in our children’s future.

If there’s anything we can do to gift them a better environment, it’s disposing our kitchen waste correctly. In the process of organic waste composting, kids and family members also become aware of the environment and their responsibility towards it. (The activity of collecting kitchen waste separately from the other waste will invoke a sense of being a Captain Planeteer, with Earth as the super-power.)

So, what are you doing about your child’s future besides giving them beautiful experiences, saving up for their education or their big day? Which day of the week are you going to set aside, to take your organic waste out?

Read More: Turning items from your waste bin into cleaning solutions


Lily Gabriel
Lily Gabriel
A Product Manager by profession in FinTech in Sydney, Lily is also a Radio Jockey hosting the Saturday morning show on Indian Link Radio. A total Mumbaikar at heart who loves her Mumbai slang, she also enjoys unleashing her creative side with painting, writing and dancing.

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