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The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UPDATE - With editor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Com­post­ing isn’t a load of rub­bish

From the time we bought our first home, we’ve had a com­post bin and I’m al­ways sur­prised by how many peo­ple har­bour mis­con­cep­tions about them.

Reg­u­lar read­ers of this col­umn will know that while I en­joy gar­den­ing and a bit of DIY, I’m an ex­pert in nei­ther.

But that com­post bin has been one of the best and most pro­duc­tive parts of our gar­den, not just ab­sorb­ing a lot of or­ganic waste from the kitchen and gar­den but turn­ing it into nu­tri­ent rich com­post to spread over the gar­den.

And it’s been ridicu­lously easy to main­tain.

Over the years, friends have turned up their noses on the grounds that com­post bins smell. Even at the height of sum­mer in a court­yard gar­den not much big­ger than a postage stamp, that bin did not give off an odour un­til I was stand­ing right next to it.

The same goes for ques­tions about rats and mice. As long as we keep a lid on it, in­sects, spi­ders and worms are the only in­hab­i­tants.

If the lid slips off, the worst bin raid­ing of­fend­ers in our (now) larger back­yard tend to be the chooks, es­pe­cially if they see you’ve made a re­cent de­liv­ery.

And with the in­sects comes one of my favourite vis­i­tors to the gar­den to feed on them — a chatty willie wag­tail.

So ac­cus­tomed am I to hav­ing a com­post bin that I re­ally miss it when we rent a hol­i­day house. The kitchen bin tends to fill a lot faster and if you leave it for a day or two, it be­gins to smell as the or­ganic mat­ter starts to break down.

I can’t imag­ine it’s much fun for the garbage col­lec­tors ei­ther.

With house­holds es­ti­mated to waste about $3500 of food a year, it’s a small con­so­la­tion that we’re at least start­ing the process again by turn­ing our scraps into com­post.

And it’s a whole lot sweeter for the garbage col­lec­tors too.

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