Thursday, May 05, 2011

Compost Awareness Week - May - 2011

It is International Compost Awareness Week this week...........with functions around the globe. The USA, Canada, UK and Australia are examples.

The message below is focussed on the East Coast of Australia, but relevant all over Australia.

Composting, the ‘intelligent’ alternative
Tuesday, 3 May 2011

That’s the message from the Centre for Organic & Resource Enterprises (CORE) at the launch of the sixth International Composting Awareness Week (ICAW). Organised in conjunction with Compost Australia (a division of the Waste Management Association of Australia), the week of events from May 1-7 will promote the benefits afforded to us all when our business communities and households get involved in composting.

“Composting is the responsible and sustainable thing to do for our planet,” according to CORE.

The major objectives of ICAW are to increase the diversion of organics from the main waste collection program through increasing awareness and participation in centralised composting, kerbside collections, home composting and community composting.“Each year over half the household garbage we produce is made up of food and garden organics. Most of this organic waste can be recycled by composting it”, said Eric Love, chairman of CORE.“If all this organic material was diverted from landfills and properly composted, it could be used to reverse the affects of climate change.

By applying this compost to gardens, farms and other land uses, millions of tonnes of carbon will be stored in the soil. This acts to lower the atmospheric temperatures that lead to changes in our climate.”

ICAW also aims to increase awareness and knowledge about the correct use of "soil-improving composts"; help reduce and recover food waste; and highlight the environmental and social benefits of composting including the opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions.

“Composting is not new. Compost has been used in crop production for over 4,000 years. Artificial fertilisers only became widely available a century ago. Australia is an old and eroded continent that is suffering from land degradation,” said Love.

Emissions from landfills are part of the Australian Federal Government’s carbon abatement initiative. If everyone composted, the total waste going to landfill could decrease by up to one third and emissions and disposal costs will drop, according to CORE.

Peter Wadewitz, chairman of Compost Australia said, “Compost produced by the recycled organics industry is already providing Australian landscape, horticulture and agricultural industries with affordable solutions to improve productivity and environmental outcomes.“Recycled carbon based products are also being effectively used to treat contaminated stormwater runoff and enabling the water to be reused, or more safely released into our waterways.”

Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre is getting into the action of ICAW by offering talks, demonstrations and tours at its Ingleside/Terrey Hills site on May 3, 4 & 5 (at 10am and 2pm).

It will also give away 500 bags of Kimbriki Compost each day. Peter Rutherford, Kimbriki’s senior ecologist, will demonstrate simple ways to make great compost at home, and explain how this relates to healthy plants and healthy people. Australian Native Landscapes’ soil expert, Rob Niccol, will discuss composting and soil health; explain about the value of compost in larger projects and how it is being used to supplement Australia’s dwindling soil resources. He will also demonstrate the latest in mulch blowing technology and conduct a guided tour of the large-scale compost making operation at Kimbriki.

For more information visit:


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