Bayview Community Centre’s composting journey started with a small compost set up in the garden, which wasn’t thriving. The fund enabled them to purchase Bokashi bins, and aeration forks, as well as connecting them with a Compost Collective facilitator who gave them helpful advice to get up and running as a composting hub.
Tell us a bit about Bayview Community Centre’s Compost Hub.
We started with a small compost set up in the garden area of the community centre that was not producing any compost. It included one almost empty black compost bin, one full pallet compost bin and one worm farm. When we saw the opportunity for some funding from the Compost Collective’s Community Composting Hub Fund, including some helpful advice from a facilitator, we jumped at it.
The hub is now run by our community facilitator, who adds the donated food scraps to the compost throughout the week and maintains the set up and what goes in. Locals are asked to drop off their food scraps in a bucket located outside the community centre, so no need to join or become a member – anyone can drop off.
What did you use the money from the Community Composting Hub fund to purchase?
We used it to purchase bokashi bins so we could include more items on our compost list, such as meat, bones, and dairy, things that can’t go in a worm farm or standard compost bin. We also got some forks to allow the aeration, spreading and turning of compost easier.
What is the advice you would give to someone/an organisation at the start of their community composting hub journey?
Start small and build up, don’t rush the process, and get advice from others and be open to making changes along the way.
How have you grown so far?
We have gone from having a system producing no compost, with food scraps hardly breaking down, into a re-energised system that actually works.
We pulled out all the garden waste from our pallet bin, which is now full of browns ready to add to the greens as we fill our compost bin. We also have a separate stick or branch area that can then be broken down smaller or chipped together when there is enough, and a bokashi bin system. The worm farm is next on the list to be reinstated once we make sure we have the system working well.
Having areas designated for the different waste means it is a lot more user friendly. We can now ensure we are getting the vitally good mix of brown and green to enable our compost to break down well. We also now accept food scraps from the community, and have been able to give out 5 litre lidded buckets to community members to collect their food scraps in, to bring down to the hub.
What would success look like in a year’s time for your hub?
In a year’s time, success for us would be using the compost we have created, together with our community, in our community garden, having a functioning and thriving worm farm, and receiving regular donations from the community. We would also love to have other community members involved in the composting process.
What would be full capacity for your hub?
At this stage we aren’t sure what full capacity would look like as we have the ability to expand, if needed, to at least double our current set up. We have only been collecting compost from outside contributors for the last few months so we are working on expanding people’s knowledge that we are here and seeing what the demand in the area is like.
What was the most useful advice/help you received from your allocated Compost Collective facilitator?
The biggest help was getting an insight on how to deal with our existing compost pile that was not breaking down, and the worm farm that had been neglected with the wrong things added. We didn’t know where to start, and what to focus on first – the overwhelming job was made easier with the input from a Compost Collective facilitator.
What would you say to someone starting on their composting journey?
Make everything easy and accessible – you will forget to collect your compost if your container is out of sight. Give yourself a visual reminder, either the container on the bench or a ‘What can I compost’ poster on the wall, until it becomes a habit. If having your own compost is too overwhelming to start with, you could always collect your food scraps and use a composting hub like ours, or connect with a sharewaste host to donate them to.
Where can people find you to join?
Bayview Community Centre is at 72 Bayview road, Bayview, Auckland. If you would like to donate your food scraps, the collection area is by the back door, or you can connect with us on ShareWaste. Visit our website for more information.