Inside Scoop: Organic Food Waste

How do we manage waste behind the scenes?

This week, we focus on organic food waste.

It may not be news to you that organic matter dumped in landfill decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) and emits harmful gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide. Those food scraps could easily have been transformed into a magical blend of healthy nutrients and minerals. This nature-made fertilizer promotes healthy plant growth when added to garden beds. Scraps can also feed friends – chooks, maggots and worms. 

It saddens us deeply to see the loss of potential that occurs when leftovers are scraped off plates into a bin or when eggshells and coffee grounds are chucked out, only to end up in landfill. 

Rest assured, our food scraps get taken to a better home. We connected with fellow Canberrans through an app called ShareWaste. Now they – and we – are better off! 

Christee collects our scraps and feeds them to her (really very cute) chickens. We are happy to say that these feathery friends just can’t seem to get enough of what we offer them! 

Jenean provides us with Bokashi, a mix of sawdust and beneficial microbes of the Lactobacillus species that speed up the decomposition of meat, fish and vegetables. She picks up everything the chickens don’t love, including coffee grounds, napkins, bread and pastries, and cooked food.

We also save a few buckets of coffee grounds weekly for Louisa, introduced to us as ‘Nonna’ (aka grandma in Italian). 

What do we get in return for these community-building actions? Scrumptious Italian pastries which remind me of my own Nonna’s irresistible home baking. And lucky us, we were generously given several kilograms of freshly harvested, home-grown feijoas from which we made jam. 

Our efforts to reduce waste from landfill have given back more than we could have dreamed of. They have helped us further the growth of a healthy community and enabled us to meet truly wonderful people! 

We want to know what solutions you are turning towards in an effort to fight waste. What do you do with your organic waste?

Written by: Olivia St-Laurent