Did you know that organic waste in landfill is harmful to our environment. Due to the lack of oxygen (landfill cells are typically an anaerobic environment), organic waste in landfill will generate more methane when it breaks down than when organic waste is broken down in composting. When methane is released into the atmosphere, it is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
However, out in the open, composting is a safe and natural way of reducing waste. Alternatively, a worm farm is a great way to manage office food scraps and they require little space and little maintenance.
If composting is not possible in your workplace, contact your local council to find out if a food and green waste collection is offered in your area. If your local council offers a green waste collection, ask if it can take meat scraps, dairy, bones and garden waste. Councils across Tasmania are starting to introduce kerbside food and garden organics collection and composting services too (known as FOGO).
If you are lucky enough to have a spare corner outdoors or a garden in your workplace, great things to compost include:
- Leaves and weeds
- Straw, hay and other dried grasses
- Prunings from the garden
- Shredded newspaper and other soft paper products
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Tea and coffee grounds
- Other food scraps (but generally not fish, dairy, meat or bones)
People in the workplace who have chickens or gardens at home might appreciate some food scraps for chook feed or home composting.
Great things you can do with compost or worm castings:
- Use compost on the work place garden for weed control
- Use compost on the work place garden to control pests and avoid using herbicides
- Use compost on the work place garden to retain moisture
- Feed your office plants with worm castings from time to time to keep them healthy
Workplaces that regularly produce large quantities of organic waste can make enquiries to large scale composting operations around the state about starting a commercial organics collection.