Frequently Asked Questions

What goes in the bucket?
  • vegetable/fruit skins, peelings and rinds of pretty much any kind
  • ends of carrots/celery/capsicums etc.
  • cores from cabbage, cauliflower, and of course apples
  • leftovers and cooked food (just not too much oil at once)
  • bread, rice
  • fruit, including citrus
  • onions and garlic
  • teabags (not the 'silk' aka plastic pyramid type), tea, coffee
  • small pieces of paper
  • nuts, old spices
  • sugar, cakes, biscuits
  • lentils and beans
  • avocado skins! even avocado seeds
  • eggs and eggshells
  • compostable bags and packaging BUT only if you have cut these into 1cm wide strips
  • the contents of your vacuum if this is mostly dust and small amounts of human or pet hair
  • Those little fruit stickers! (please remove, send to landfill)
  • meat/fish, including bones
  • dairy (a little milk or yoghurt as part of cooked food, eg in a sauce is ok)
  • oils and fats
  • liquids
What about compostable packaging?

This is one that we get asked a lot. Yes, our hot heaps are super efficient and more akin to industrial composting than home composting, so we can accept many different types of compostable packaging. These items still take a little longer to break down than most of the other scraps (more like months than weeks).  And we ask that you cut (for bioplastics) or tear (for cardboard products) them up into smaller pieces before adding them into your bucket. This doesn't only help them to break down, it also prevents problems that can occur in the heap due to lamination (basically having a big flat piece that gets in the way of gas and moisture circulation inside the heap). The same goes for compostable bags, don't tie these off with veggie scraps inside them. It creates an unfavourable chemical environment that leads to bad odours.

What time of day do the buckets get collected?

We generally try and complete our 'bucket route' in the morning. The time of day certainly depends on weather conditions and staffing factors. Therefore it is best to put buckets out for collection the day before (in case of very early morning collection) but sometimes they will not be emptied till the afternoon of  the collection day. Our route also frequently changes, depending on which households have joined up or currently participating. So while your house may usually be early on in the route this is not always the case. Sometimes we might do the whole thing backwards! :)

How do I keep my bucket from going stinky?

There are several things you can do to help keep your bucket from going stinky. Here are just a few:

  • Swap or empty your buckets at least once weekly, whether or not they are full
  • Keep the lid off of the bucket (for plenty of oxygen and to aid evaporation)
  • When a bucket is full, store it in your refrigerator or freezer till collection
  • add absorptive material like shredded paper to the bottom of the bucket
Why does my home compost take so long to break down?

For optimal performance a compost heap needs the right balance of these four ingredients: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water. If any of these are lacking or out of proportion then the compost will either take longer to transform, or may emit too much in the way of greenhouse gases (and stinky ones!) while it does. 

One of the advantages of community composting is that we can have a constant stream of nitrogen rich kitchen scraps that we can add in just the right amount to make for a very productive compost heap. It may seem counter-intuitive but by combining our kitchen scraps into one big pile we can make compost more quickly!

How do I get some compost back?

We aim to fairly share out the proceeds of everyone's efforts. From the source separation in your kitchen to the heavy work pitchforking the heaps the creation of our compost is surely a community effort! Please be aware that most of the weight from kitchen scraps is water weight and it takes hundreds of buckets of scraps to make one bag of compost. We operate on a "who asks, gets" policy, so simply send us an email if you'd like some. There is usually a waiting list though so if you can give a heads up 2 weeks ahead of eg. setting up your new garden bed then there is a better chance of accommodating your request.

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