Eduardo and his family wanted to do their part in helping the environment, but living in a Hobsonville Point townhouse had its own challenges when it came to composting. With a small outdoor space, not big enough to use the black gold the composting process creates, Eduardo paid a visit to his local community composting hub at Engine Point. After completing a Compost Collective workshop all about Bokashi, his composting journey took off.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
We are a busy family with two young kids. We like to cook fresh, nutritious meals with a good colourful variety of fruit and veggies, and with this comes quite a bit of food scraps. As a family, we also try to be responsible for the environment by recycling and reusing as much as we can, and this is why we began looking into different out-of-home composting options last year. We don’t have the space at home, or the time, to turn compost into soil.
What composting method(s) do you use and how did you get started?
We do Bokashi. We heard about the Engine Point Community Composting Hub here at Hobsonville Point, and they only collect Bokashi. We signed up for a Bokashi Compost Collective workshop held at the site, and had everything explained to us, making it super easy to start the process of composting by Bokashi.
How do you find Bokashi as a composting system?
Bokashi is great. It is odourless and super easy to do – you can put in pretty much all food scraps apart from liquid. Having the collection site in the area makes a huge difference, because they prepare the Bokashi to become soil – and we know our food scraps are not going to landfill but instead helping to make this wonderful soil that can then be used by our community.
How do you make composting an easy part of your everyday life?
We have a 2L ice cream container that we use to collect the food scraps. Every morning we set it up on the kitchen top, and everyone in the house knows that is where food scraps go. Our kids will often drop bread and crackers on the floor, so instead of putting these bits in the rubbish, they put them straight in the compost container. At the end of most days the container has enough food scraps to go into our Bokashi bin.
With the Bokashi, you are meant to only open the bin once a day as the fermentation process doesn’t like air. This works perfectly for us, with the food scrap container system that we have.
Have you faced any challenges while composting, and what have you learnt if so?
We have faced a few challenges and had some questions along the way. Being a part of a community composting hub has meant we can ask for advice and ask questions along the way.
We had one particular incident with some expired flour in the cupboard that didn’t go so well in the Bokashi. The Bokashi system uses two buckets one on top of the other, with the top bucket having small holes at the bottom for the liquid to drop through, but the flour ended up absorbing the liquid and created a paste, which then blocked further liquid from going down. We won’t be doing that again!
What would you say to people starting their composting journey?
Composting is easy and a quick habit to form. It is like any new routine, it may take a few days to get used to it but once you are, you won’t go back to throwing food scraps in your rubbish bin knowing they go straight to the landfill.
If you don’t have the space or time to make the compost and actual soil in your home, find a community composting hub local to you – this made all the difference to us. They are doing all the hard work for you, you just need to turn up with your food scraps (or in our case bokashi by-product). And, if people don’t have the space, the Bokashi composting system is a great in-door option, including for those living in apartments without much or any outdoor space.
About Community Composting Hubs
If you don’t have the time, need, or space for composting your food scraps at your own home, community composting hubs are the place to be. These hubs accept anyone’s food scraps, and in many cases, use the compost to nourish community gardens or distribute the compost for community needs.
When you use a community composting hub, you’re helping keep food scraps out of landfill. This helps ensure these valuable nutrients aren’t lost forever, and reduces production of methane in landfills.
If you want to find a hub local to you, visit Sharewaste.org.nz.
If you want to know more about starting a hub in your own community, and a fund that could assist you in doing so, have a look on the Compost Collective website here.
About ShareWaste NZ
ShareWaste connects people who wish to recycle their food scraps with their neighbours who are already composting. You can join ShareWaste NZ at www.sharewaste.org.nz or download the app at the App Store or the Google Play Store. If you are about to start your composting journey or want to learn more about a different system, check out our free upcoming workshops on our Compost Collective workshop calendar.