We’re wasting our waste.
Composting is one of those things people did back when babies were booming, before we got all wasteful and throwaway. Where once we flung banana peels on our compost heap and made jam from bunting while waiting for them to degrade, we now fling them into plastic bin bags and send them to landfills. It might seem like much of a muchness, or at least some of a muchness, given wherever they go banana peels are going to rot themselves away, but eat fact: According to Recycle Now, when food waste is cocooned in plastic and buried in landfill it releases more methane – a greenhouse gas 25 times shittier than carbon dioxide. Landfill’s no good, and yet WRAP reckons we bin more than 80% of the 10 million tonnes of food waste we produce every year. That’s not for us.
Those of you blessed with gardens or allotments can get composters, often subsidised through your local authorities. You can throw all of your raw biodegradable waste into them, wait a few months while nature and physics get busy and then enjoy the compost that pours forth. As well as reducing landfill and the production of methane you’ll have made a cracking compost for your garden which will, according to Recycle Now, feed your plants, keep your PH nicely balanced, maintain moisture levels and improve soil structure.
Composting is trickier for us gardenless borderline-hobos but options remain. You could get a wormery. They work in much the same way as composters but can be kept indoors as they’re supposed to honk less powerfully. You invite worms into your wormery, throw your kitchen waste into it, let the worms chow down on it as it rots, wait for them to poop it out and then use their poop as liquid fertiliser. I gave a wormery a go a few years back and made a complete arse of it but I remain convinced they could be decent if you’re not a complete moron. Alternatively you could get a bokashi bin, trading worms for bacteria. The idea there is you invite bacteria-laden bran into your bokashi bin, throw your kitchen waste into it, let the bacteria ferment it, and use it as compost. You could even get both, treating your worms to some fancy pickled waste that, to them, would be like some Michelin starred swank. The dirty bastards.
For gardenless tramps who’ve been through traumatic wormery experiences, there remains the option of local authority food waste collections. What happens to your food waste thereafter varies according to your local overlords so it’s worth looking into it. In Glasgow, where the Zero Sub is currently docked, they turn some of it into agricultural fertilizer and the rest into biogas. That’ll do for me.
Naturally, the starting point for all of our composting efforts is to buy less and waste less, but the scraps we’re left with don’t have to obliterate our chances of surviving on this planet. With a composter, a wormery, a bokashi bin or a kerb we can give landfills a bit of peace, WALL-Es a little less to do, the planet a little less methane and your self a little more righteousness. Get on it!
Save the goddamn world
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