Monday, August 22, 2011

Green waste, where should it go?

What do you do with your left over food (vegetable and fruit) scraps, grass clippings, garden waste? More often than not most suburbanites end up putting this green waste into their domestic rubbish bin. In fact, some Councils and groups estimate that green waste makes up to 30% of our rubbish. This isn't the right place for your green waste!

Putting this material into your bin results in it being lost to the landscape, where it could be utilised over and over again. When green waste is placed in your rubbish bin, it becomes mixed with non-degradable goods and materials and can become contaminated and in fact may become toxic. Quite often this material just adds to the landfill, doesn't ever break down effectively and cannot be utilised by the environment. It is also my understanding the carbon (the major component of this green waste) ends up breaking down, through a typically anaerobic process, that ends up contributing greenhouse gas in our environment by releasing methane.

What alternative options are available to prevent this material entering into your rubbish bin and traditional waste streams? Some options include:

  • a Council provided green waste bin (often for a small surcharge);
  • worm farming;
  • commercial green waste collectors;
  • small compost bin;
  • large compost systems;
  • mulch for your garden.
I'm sure there are other options but these are just a few that might be utilised in your situation. Such small actions, that is preventing these types of wastes going into your rubbish bin, can collectively make a significant difference to our environment.

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