Composting Questions

Can I put glossy paper in my compost bin?

Glossy paper refers to things like magazines, catalogues, brochures etc. It used to be a flat out "NO" to anything glossy in your compost, but upon reading more about the subject, it appears that printing and production of glossy paper has improved, and according to some sources, glossy paper CAN go into your compost bin. There are, however, plenty of sources still saying, "NO".

We would prefer that you err on the side of caution, and still avoid it, but you are welcome to make up your own mind on this issue.

Can I put soil from a dead pot plant in my compost bin?

Please see the response to "Can I put soil in my compost bin?"

Can I use biodegradable bags in my kitchen bucket?

This is a choice that is entirely up to you. Using a biodegradable bag as a liner may reduce the messiness of your bin, if you are someone that does not want to have to rinse the bin every time you empty it. Similar results can be achieved with lining the bin with a couple of sheets of newspaper.

One of the issues with using a biodegradable/degradable bag is that it may not break down in your compost bin - those types of bags need specific conditions in which to break down, and your compost bin may not provide those conditions, meaning that your end product compost could potentially have bits of bag through it.

Can I put soil in my Compost Bin?

Yes, you can. Adding soil may add in some beneficial bacteria, otherwise, adding it to the compost will improve the quality of the soil, and will add bulk to your compost bin. Try to avoid adding too much, as your compost may struggle breaking down the other ingredients if there is too much soil in there, and not enough "working" ingredients like kitchen scraps and shredded paper.

Can I put sawdust in my compost bin?

Yes you can, PROVIDED the wood was not treated first - avoid the sawdust from treated pine (even the CCA treated pine) as well as sawdust from things like treated pallets. Adding these chemicals to your compost bin will mean that the resulting compost will also contain those chemicals. Remember to keep the balance in favour of carbon ingredients, and you may need to wet the sawdust first before adding to stop your compost bin becoming too dry.

Can Eggshells go into my compost?

Yes, eggshells can be added to compost, worm farms, etc. They take a long time to break down, but do offer some valuable nutrients in the process. If all of your compost is broken down except the eggs shells, just bury them under the compost when using it, as you would be waiting years for the eggshells to break down as is. You can break the eggshells up before adding them to your compost, which will speed up the decomposition process, and make them less noticeable in your finished compost.

Questions about the compost bin trial

How much room do I need in my car to take my compost bin home?

If you have a wagon you should not have any trouble. The compost bin is quite large, and so in any larger cars (eg Commodores, Falcons) you should be able to easily get it into the back seat provided you don't have a baby seat in the middle/one on each side. Some small cars may be able to fit it. If you have a hatch, it might help to put the backseat down first. If you think you will have trouble transporting your bin home, please let us know asap on 9705 5200 or wasteadmin@casey.vic.gov.au

What is the project?

As part of the City of Casey’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future by reducing household waste, Council is offering 200 households the opportunity to receive a free compost bin, compost aerator and kitchen scraps bucket for use at home.

Why should I compost?

Composting at home reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill by putting fruit and vegetable scraps into a compost bin rather than a garbage bin. The compost process produces a nutrient rich soil product that is great for the garden, without added artificial fertilisers. It can also save money as you don’t need to buy fertilisers for the garden.

Compostable material that is sent to landfill breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) and produces methane greenhouse gas. This is a contributor to climate change, and one we can reduce on an individual level.

What is involved in participating in the free trial?

It is a simple process with the following steps:

  1. Complete an Application Form and return to the City of Casey.
  2. If successful, you will receive a confirmation email/letter.
  3. You would then be required to attend a composting education session (dates listed below).

    At the education session you will receive instructions on how to use your compostbin. Your bin and equipment will need to be collected at your education session.
  4. Completion of a feedback form at the education session.
  5. Completion of a survey approximately six months later to evaluate your success with home composting.

Who can apply for the trial?

All Casey residents who are not currently composting at home are eligible to apply.

The first 200 eligible applications that are received will be accepted.

If you received a free compost bin as part of Council’s trial in 2011 you are ineligible to apply.

How do I apply?

What dates are the education sessions?

You must attend one of the following sessions:

Date: Monday 6 May 2013 (choice of two sessions)
Time: 1.45 pm or 6.45 pm
Venue: City of Casey Civic Centre, Magid Drive, Narre Warren (Melway Ref: 110 D4)

Date: Wednesday 8 May 2013
Time: 6.45 pm
Venue: Old Shire Offices, Corner Sladen Street and South Gippsland Highway, Cranbourne (Melway Ref: 133 J6)

Date: Saturday 11 May 2013
Time: 9.15 am
Venue: Old Shire Offices, Corner Sladen Street and South Gippsland Highway, Cranbourne (Melway Ref: 133 J6)

What if I need further Information?

For further information, please contact Council’s Waste and Recycling Team on 9705 5200.