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What is composting?
Composting is nature’s own recycling program. In time, organisms will break down the ingredients listed below into rich, dark crumbly compost - nature’s own nutrient-rich fertiliser.
How does composting work and how long does it take?
Natural composting, or decomposition, occurs all the time in nature. Home composting generally takes two months or more. The more you turn and mix the contents - adding air in the process - the more rapid the composting action will be.
The right conditions include
What can you compost at home?
What can’t you compost?
Grubs in your compost?
Sometimes in compost bins there are many segmented brown grubs. These are the larvae of the beneficial Soldier Fly. They are not pests, nor will they cause health problems.
Sylvester the Digester
At the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney we have one of only a few VCUs - Vertical Composting Units - in Australia. Our VCU, nick-named ‘Sylvester the Digester’, will help us lead the way in responsible recycling to help save our environment. Sylvester is an insulated, weather-sealed unit that processes organic waste and turns it into a nutrient-rich compost. We are turning our green ‘waste’ material into a high quality mulch and soil conditioner.
Sylvester is filled with fresh waste, water is added, then the waste is transferred to the top of the unit to descend through a temperature gradient from 85ºC to 45ºC. The high temperatures ensure elimination of pathogens and weed seeds. Sylvester is at work 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The time required to make the final compost product is around two to four weeks.
Sylvester was bought with assistance from the New South Wales Government through the Waste Fund. Click her for further information on this sustainable organic waste solution.
What benefits does Sylvester provide?