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A couple of years ago, the Dunedin City Council floated a plan to include green waste in its kerbside collections, but the scheme is yet to be implemented.
The DCC and other councils in the region are lagging behind the likes of Timaru District Council and the Mackenzie District Council which have offered this service for several years.
Something like 1 million tonnes of garden and kitchen waste is buried in New Zealand landfills each year, so until all the councils offer kerbside organic waste collection, the only way to reduce the heap is to tackle it ourselves.
SIX WAYS TO COMPOST
1 Pile it up: A heap of grass cuttings, leaves and weeds, covered with a sheet of plastic, will rot down and make adequate compost. Adding layers of manure to create a sandwich effect gingers it up, as does the addition of lime, blood and bone or general fertiliser.
The advantages are low or no-cost, ease of setting up and rich soil underneath when the heap is cleared. The downside is it is relatively slow to break down, looks a bit unsightly and may attract mice and rats that sneak under that warming plastic cover.
The trench method is speedy and ideal for a vegetable garden. Silverbeet, brassicas (cabbages, kale, cauliflower and broccoli) and celery seedlings can be planted as soon as the hole is covered and by the time they have been harvested, the material underneath will be well-rotted and ready for the next crop.
This is another cheap and simple means of composting that looks tidy. It is not the fastest method and turning and emptying the bins can be hard work. If there is room for a third bin, this is better, giving the oldest mix more time to break down.
Although relatively inexpensive and reasonably efficient, two bins work better than one and digging them out is dirty work.
5 Roundabout: Revolving compost bins take about half as long to process waste as static ones, because the contents are turned two or three times a week. The critical factor is to keep the contents moist. Some models have a single drum, while more recent revolving bins have two, a definite improvement. They cost from about $320 and require less work than a static bin.
6 Bokashi: Unlike other composting systems, a bokashi bin can also be used for fish, meat and cheese scraps. It is anaerobic, meaning scraps break down without oxygen and it needs no turning. When ready, it is put into a hole in the garden or a compost bin.
Bokashi is handy for small households, but some readers report it being less effective than conventional compost if put directly into a garden.
Never add chemicals, including oil and paint, or rhododendron clippings to compost.