Composting & Worm Farming

 

Compost Revolution

The Hills Shire Council is participating in Compost Revolution - an online platform where information on composting and worm farming is provided through a tutorial and quiz.

 

You can now purchase a discounted compost bin, worm farm or bokshi bin kit plus free delivery!

Following completion of a quiz, residents are invited to purchase a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin at a discounted rate - plus free delivery.

This program aims to assist residents who are unable to attend a workshop and would prefer the convenience of online learning.

Participate Here

This is a NSW Government Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

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Have You Tried COMPOSTING or WORM FARMING?

Did you know that on average nearly one third of material found in the general garbage bin is food waste? Composting or worm farming can help!

Composting

Most organic matter, excluding meat, is suitable for home composting. The combined materials breakdown into a cheap non-polluting natural and effective garden fertilizer or booster for seedlings.

Where to locate the compost:

Somewhere that has contact with the earth, preferably a sunny position and well drained location.

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Acceptable to Compost:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Grass clippings, leaves, bark and twigs
  • Shredded/mulched pruned trees and shrubs
  • Sawdust, tea leaves, tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Egg shells, hair, wool and vacuum cleaner dust
  • Ash from a wood burning fire (not coal)
  • Cotton rags, newspaper, tissues, and serviettes (torn up)
  • Breadcrumbs.

 

Not Acceptable to Compost:

  • Fats
  • Whole bones
  • Large branches
  • Meat
  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Dairy Products
  • Chemicals
  • Pet excrement 

 

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A.D.A.M Characteristics of Healthy Compost:

Aliveness: A small ecosystem is created in the compost which relies on a variety of organisms.

Diversity: A broad diversity of ingredients will help balance the compost.

Aeration: A compost heap requires air to ensure an aerobic breakdown of its contents. Remember to TURN THE COMPOST about 2 times a week.

Moisture: A compost should be moist (not wet or dry) and ideally with the consistency of a wrung out sponge.

Recommended Ratio of Ingredients

The ratio which is generally recommended is a minimum of 2 parts carbon (dead, brown and dry material) to 1 part nitrogen (alive, green and moist material), by weight. This ratio helps to ensure the correct conditions for the compost system.

Fact Sheet - Introduction to Composting(PDF, 2MB)

 

Troubleshooting:  

Condition

Symptoms

Remedies

Too wet/soggy (anaerobic)

Unpleasant odours

  • Turn the compost more often
  • Ensure the compost is well drained
  • Reduce nitrogen content/increase carbon content
  • Build the compost heap with more course material, especially at the base

 

Too dry

Slow break down

  • Ensure you are not over turning the compost
  • Soak with water until it is moist
  • Increase nitrogen content

Unwanted visitors

Vermin, cockroaches or excessive flies

  • Cover the entire base and surrounds with chicken wire to prevent burrowing.
  • Ensure the compost is covered
  • Ensure the compost lid is held down firmly with a heavy object, such as a brick

Compost is too acidic, usually due to anaerobic conditions

Compost smells sour

  • Add a small amount of garden lime
  • Turn the heap more regularly
  • Build the compost heap with more course material, especially at the base

Too much nitrogen

Strong smell of ammonia

  • Cover the heap with more straw or carbon rich material

Neighbourhood Composting

Do you have organic waste but no space to set up a compost. Are you already composting and are willing to offer some composting space? Sharewaste.com is a free composting project that connects people looking to turn their waste into rich soil.

Visit Sharewaste.com to find out more.



Worm Farming

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Take your food leftovers and turn them into a rich soil-like substance called 'castings'. Red or tiger worms are the most commonly used worms. Worms farms can be kept outside, inside, on the balcony or in the garage. They are ideal for units. Worm castings are great for feeding house plants, adding to seedling mixes and potting soils or top-dressing around plants. 

Remember worms need:

  • Moisture as they breathe through their skins and need to keep moist
  • Drainage as they can suffocate if it gets too wet
  • Cover as worms don't like direct light. This will also discourage flies and other pests.
  • Not too much acid : Worms don't like acidic foods such as citrus peels, onions, chilli or garlic.  
     

Fact Sheet - Worm Farming(PDF, 971KB)

Purchasing Worms

Worms can be purchased from a range of local suppliers including:

  • Local hardware stores
  • Online suppliers
  • Nurseries and
  • Local breeders such as:

Living Legends Compost Worms - Kenthurst

0408 402 711

 


 

Composting and Worm Farming Workshops

The Hills Shire Council will be running free composting and worm farming workshops throughout the year. 

If you would like further information regarding these workshops, or would like to be placed on a register for future workshops, please contact the Resource Recovery Education Officer on 02 9843 0505.



 

Pet Poo Converter

A Pet Poo Converter is a worm farm but instead of feeding the worms vegetable scraps, they are fed dog droppings. 

YOU MUST ONLY FEED THE WORMS PET POO. DO NOT MIX PET POO AND VEGETABLE SCRAPS.

The worms convert the dog droppings into worm castings (worm poo) and a liquid fertilizer, both of which can safely be used on the garden.It has no maintenance costs, does not use any chemicals and is safe to operate.

Download the Fact Sheet - Pet Poo Converter(PDF, 182KB) to find out more.