Compost isn’t just for your backyard or balcony and it’s definitely not just for those massive commercial facilities either. There’s another level of composting that has all the same benefits and then some.
There are a lot of alternatives for how you can recycle your organic waste but unfortunately they’re just not available to everyone. More and more people are living in apartments that make composting downright impossible. Unlike world leading compost city San Francisco, most city governments don’t offer food waste collection (although Melbourne is considering it)
But in the meantime, what are people who want to compost but don’t have the means to do? What happens when councils don’t provide the services that most people want? Well that’s where community composting comes in.
Community compost operations are basically anything that’s open to contributions from the general public. It might be a community garden or a generous neighbour who wants more organics or even a small business that’s managed to monetise it!
There are so many benefits to a community compost operation, beyond being just an easy peasy way to stop waste.
The best perk is in the name: it's an amazing way to build up a community. Those people who have a bit of time on their hands and simply put up a pile for the neighbourhood actually start something really incredible between households.
Everyone wastes. Even if you’re zero plastic and the biggest anti-consumerist since the USSR, you’re still not going to be eating that avocado pit. Building a service around something that everyone does creates a sense of togetherness and meeting opportunities for neighbours. In our increasingly isolated lives, this is more important than ever.
By now you’re probably wondering how you can get involved so it’ll be good to know how easy it is. You might not have noticed it but it’s likely there’s a community compost operation going on in the suburb where you live or work and maybe even just down the street!
If you’re in Brisbane, check out this list of community compost “hubs” provided by the Brisbane City Council. They’re amazing and more than happy for residents to just trot on down and drop off their waste. If you’re in Australia, there’s an amazing platform Sharewaste that allows you to see composters near you that have opened up their operations to the public. For our international friends, do some Googling and you’ll definitely be able to find something nearby. Resources such as Institute for Local Self-Reliance and other organisations and alliances have compiled hundreds of community compost set-ups just waiting for you to reach out!
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