Organic Waste is a problem. When organic waste is dumped in landfill, it undergoes anaerobic decomposition (because of the lack of oxygen) and generates methane. When released into the atmosphere, methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Organic Waste is Currently Going to Landfill
Lane Cove Council does NOT offer a dedicated organic matter bin. This is because the Lane Cove Council, along with four other councils in the Northern Sydney Region, send the contents of red–lidded waste bins (which included organic waste) to a purpose-built Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility at Woodlawn, south of Sydney. The facility is managed by Veolia and the idea was to transform the waste from red-lidded bins in Lane Cove into useful compost for environmental rehabilitation. Based on waste audit data, it was expected that approximately 50-60% of the waste received would be diverted from landfill. After the organic material is recovered and converted into compost, remaining waste is delivered to a bioreactor for further energy recovery. This has now all been stopped by the EPA and our organic waste is going into landfill. Read more here.
What can now be done to divert more organic waste from landfill? Lane Cove residents can use ShareWaste.
What is ShareWaste?
The idea is that ShareWaste helps people, who have green scraps (i.e. organic waste) and would like to compost them (rather than just chuck them into the garbage) to find a neighbour with a composting bin, worm farm or chooks willing to accept their waste.
We all produce an awful lot of organic scraps, e.g. when cooking. Heaps of it, really. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn all that stuff into new soil rather than adding yet another pile to landfill? The ShareWaste founders thought it was a good idea.
Who is behind ShareWaste?
The people behind ShareWaste are Eli and Tomas, a married couple from Newtown, Sydney. They are originally from Prague, EU, and like this planet. Both hemispheres. So they are trying to keep it a nice place to live on (it’s not like we have a spare one anyway).
How do I start?
Just sign up and follow the instructions. ShareWaste is simple. There’s a map everyone can see. If you would like to become a host, sign up and add your address. ShareWaste will put a marker on the map and people from around Lane Cove can send you a message when they’re ready to bring their kitchen scraps. You can have a chat with them and arrange the details (when to come, what exactly you can accept etc).
What Organic Waste Can I Share?
There are some general recommendations, but it always depends on the person who is accepting your scraps and whether they have a composter, worm farm or hens. Please always check with your neighbour before bringing them the first bucket.
In general, most people will accept fruit and veggie scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, egg shells, dry leaves, tissue paper, peanut shells, wood ashes, withered flowers. Most would also accept shredded newspaper or cardboard, shredded cardboard egg cartons, wood shavings, grass clippings, cotton pads and other.
People won’t usually accept meat, dairy, bread and pasta, as these attract vermin. Dog and cat droppings is also a no-no (they may contain parasites or diseases). Most compost owners won’t accept glossy paper as it takes a long time to break down and might contain heavy metals. Most worm farmers won’t accept citrus peels, onions and garlic (the worms don’t like those). So just speak to the person who you are going to share your waste with and ask them what they want.
How Do I Find a Neighbour Who Wants My Organic Waste?
Go to the ShareWaste map, specify your address in the input box at the top. The map will show you all nearby composts. Click on an icon with the nearest compost and message the owner. At this stage there are only a few Lane Cove residents who have registered. However if more people know about ShareWaste more people will register.
What do you think? Would you like to give your waste a second chance?
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