Wasteserv Malta - Organic Waste
Organic Waste

Organic Waste

Organic waste is waste originating from plant or animal sources and may be broken down by other living organisms. Such waste includes paper,  food, green waste and garden waste.
 

This type of waste is commonly found in our Municipal Solid Waste which if disposed in landfills produces a gas which is composed primarily of methane, a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Whilst modern technology allows the recovery of much of this gas, alternatives to avoid the generation of this product are preferred. Such alternatives may be home composting.
 

Home Composting

Home composting is the controlled decomposition of organic material and a way to return organic materials to the soil. Throughout the process of home composting, organic waste is converted into a dark, crumbly mixture that can be used to improve the soil and reduce the use of fertilizer and water.

 

 

Home composting- 5 easy steps

Step one -The compost bin

Purchase or make your own compost bin. The compost bin would have a lid on the top from where organic waste is placed and a small opening at its lower part from where the finished compost may be withdrawn. One may also drill a few holes along the side of the bin for aeration purposes. Ideally the bin is placed directly on the soil or grass which will allow for excess water to drain out and makes it easier for worms to get in and get working on breaking down the contents. If one does not own a garden, then the compost bin may be placed on a tray filled with soil. Best location for the compost bin to be placed is in an area which receives around 5 hours of sunshine since such condition would help in the optimum breakdown of the organic waste.

 

 

Step Two - What goes in
Waste that can be included in your compost is divided into Greens and Browns. Greens are quick to rot and they provide important nitrogen and moisture. Browns are slower to rot. They provide fibre and carbon and also allow important air pockets to form in the mixture. Crushed eggshells can be included to add useful minerals.

 

 

Step Three - What doesn’t go in

Certain things should never be placed in the compost bin and the list includes – cooked food, meat, fish, bones, dairy products, dog & cat faeces, diseased plants, glossy or coloured paper/cardboard. Putting these in your bin can encourage unwanted pests and can also create odour.

 

 

Step Four - Making Good Compost

The key to good compost lies in getting the mix right. One needs to keep the Greens and Browns properly balanced. If the compost is too wet, add more Browns. If it’s too dry, add some Greens. Air is very important to the composting process, so include scrunched up bits of cardboard as a simple way to create air pockets that will help keep your compost healthy. After approximately 6-9 months your finished compost will be ready.

 

 

Step Five - Using Your Compost

Finished compost is a dark brown, almost black soil-like layer that you’ll find at the bottom of your bin. It has a spongy texture and is rich in nutrients. Spreading the finished compost into your flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and suppressing weeds. Composting is definitely the easiest and greenest way to make your garden grow more beautiful.
 



 

Frequently asked questions


Do I need chemical accelerators?

No. Composting is an entirely natural process performed by living things and there is no need for other additives.
 

Will it smell?

Composting should produce only a rich earthy smell. If a sharp ammonia smell is produced it is usually due to too much grass and not enough paper. Add some shredded paper and mix in to get that earthly smell back.