Environment

Composting, bokashi and worm farms

Food waste is a big contributor to landfill and greenhouse emissions. These projects will ensure you're making the most of your scraps.

Compost bins, worm farms, and Bokashi buckets are great ways to recycle your food waste.

Join the Compost Revolution

To help support our Darebin community, Council is relaunching its partnership with the award-winning program Compost Revolution, to provide Darebin households who are low-income or experiencing hardship with access to 50% off selected compost products to help you get started with composting. Darebin residents who hold a valid Concession Card are eligible to receive a 50% discount off the recommended retail price (RRP) off one of the following composting systems:

  • Compost bin - this bin can handle greater volumes but needs more garden space to be set up. They also require more manual labor.
  • Bokashi bin (kitchen compost) - this is a good solution if you have limited space as it can be kept on your kitchen bench
  • Worm farm - can handle small volumes of food waste (mostly fruit and vegetable scraps) and the resulting worm juice is a great fertiliser for plants!

To access the offer:

Not a Concession Card holder? You can still access compost products at Compost Revolution's discounted prices (up to 40% off RRP). Visit the Compost Revolution products page for the full range. Conditions of Eligibility
One home composting product discount is available per household. Residents that have already received a discount are ineligible. The discount is only available to residents who hold a concession card (ratepayers and renters) of Darebin City Council. Delivery fees apply.

There are a limited number of discounts available each year, when this number is reached the program will be paused. These products and discounts may also be subject to change.

Compost Bins

Compost bins are a good choice for people with more space as they can handle greater volumes of organic waste. However, they do require maintenance. Material in compost bins should be turned regularly to maintain air flow. This will help the micro-organisms to break down material faster.

Compost requires a balance of inputs to ensure the organic matter breaks down. It needs a balance of:

  • Carbon - dry leaves, straw, paper, sawdust, shredded branches, dry grass
  • Nitrogen - Food scraps, fresh grass, manures, blood and bone, seaweed, comfrey, lucerne
  • Oxygen - introduced by turning the heap once a week while the material is new
  • Water - to keep the heap moist and covered
  • Correct size of particles and heap (small particles, large heap)

Discounted compost bins are available for concession card holders from the Compost Revolution website. Visit them to find out more and to purchase your discounted compost bin. Compost bins are also available in a range of shapes and sizes from hardware stores.

Further information on composting:

Bokashi Bins

Bokashi bins are ideal for small apartments or units, as they can be kept inside. Bokashi bins can handle small volumes of kitchen waste, including food waste that generally can't go into a compost bin like meat and dairy. The system uses a process of fermentation, aided by the bokashi mix or enzyme, which is sprinkled over layers of kitchen scraps.

The end products are bokashi juice and solid bokashi waste. Bokashi juice can be diluted and added to your garden or indoor pot plants. The solid bokashi waste can be buried in your garden or added to a conventional compost heap where it will break down completely. If you don't have access to a garden, that's okay! Many community gardens are happy to accept this solid waste in their compost heaps. Check with your closest community garden or visit Share Waste to find a compost heap near you.

Discounted Bokashi bins are available for concession card holders from the Compost Revolution website. Visit Compost Revolution to find out more and to purchase your discounted Bokashi bin. Bokashi bins are also available in a range of shapes and sizes from hardware stores.

Worm Farms

Worm farms are a great option for people with smaller yards or balconies. With your worm farm you can produce rich soil (castings) and liquid fertiliser (worm juice) in a small area. Worm farming uses selected worms (typically Tiger Worms, Red Wrigglers and Indian Blues) to break down kitchen and garden scraps.

Tips:

  • Choose a cool shaded spot for your worm farm.
  • Add composting worms, such as Tigers, Reds and Blues to your worm farm as they live, work and breed well in the rich, moist, organic environment of your worm farm.
  • Keep your worm farm moist, warm and protected from the hot summer sun
  • If possible, shred kitchen and garden waste into smaller pieces
  • Cover the worms with a small black plastic sheet in cool weather. In hot weather a damped hessian, newspaper is more desirable.
  • Always replace the lid
  • Castings can be placed in the garden around plants, in pot plants, around fruit trees, native trees and vegetables.

Coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen and are a great addition to your compost as well. Add together with your kitchen scraps and make sure you layer with about one third carbon based materials such as dried leaves or untreated wood shavings. Coffee grounds also make good worm food. Some people like to add coffee grounds directly to their garden as fertiliser. They can also be sprinkled around seedlings to deter slugs and snails.

Worm farms are available from the Compost Revolution website. Worm farms are also available in a range of shapes and sizes from hardware stores. A limited number of worm farms and compost aerators* are available from our Customer Service Centre in Preston for $65 inc. GST. Please note, worms must be purchased separately and are available from hardware stores and online.