That time I started a compost exchange

I bang on a lot about compost because I want to make it the norm.

Composting isn’t just for people with gardens or yards, but for everyone – even those of us living in small apartments in big cities. 

Yet barriers remain.

Most people probably know that if you have a yard, to compost is pretty simple. Local councils often even offer training and discounts on equipment. Your scraps simply go from house to yard for recycling. Easy.

Ostensibly, these council offerings are meant to help apartment dwellers join the compost party too. And the collecting of scraps is pretty straightforward, even in an apartment. So far so good.

But ummmm, soooo, what are those of us who live in units to do with the compost after we’ve collected it?

We might not have or want a garden. We may simply want to compost food scraps because it’s the right thing to do; Organics recycling is this unicorn-like activity that manages to both reduce methane in landfill and also sequester carbon. 

For the solution-minded amongst us, the question becomes, how could we make it easier for people living in apartments to participate?

We have some choices here – we could ask our government to do it for us (and likely wait a while) or we could be resourceful and ask ourselves how we can do something about it today.

I’ve decided on the latter. My solution has been to start a compost exchange here in Sydney.

I might be glorifying it a bit, since for now it’s simply an open Facebook group, but it’s the first step in addressing what I think is a big problem / opportunity – unit dwellers shut out of organics recycling.

The goals of the compost exchange are to:

  • connect people who live in apartments, like me, with others who would accept their food scraps.
  • encourage acceptance of organics recycling as an essential part of modern urban living.
  • help make composting more accessible and less mysterious to all.
  • promote knowledge of alternative composting methods, like the Bokashi method.
  • spark conversation around the waste we make and the systems designed to manage them.
  • be a local, free, people-powered solution to the issue of soil degradation.
  • enable community interactions between a diverse group of people.
  • empower action on reducing our carbon footprints, today, without waiting for government to act for us.
  • act as a gateway drug to urban food growing.

If you’re in Sydney, will you join the group?

Another time, I will tell you the story of my first compost ‘transaction’.

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