Hume City Council is one of the largest and most diverse councils in Melbourne. So, my task to try to reduce the waste we send to landfill was no small feat. An audit of our garbage stream identified organic waste, like most councils, was the greatest contributor to our weekly garbage bins and so presented the greatest opportunity to reduce our waste to landfill.
My aim was to target the two greatest barriers to behaviour change: knowledge and costs.
I wanted to find a system that would remove the barrier of sorting food waste then I would remove the cost barrier to a small pilot group of participants to test my theory. What I found was the Bokashi system – it was the answer to my problems. Bokashi could process all food waste so residents didn't need to sort their food waste in the kitchen - it could all go in the one bin! To remove the potential barrier of digging a hole in the backyard I also provided residents with a compost bin so that the Bokashi could process in there – no digging required and the compost bin could also look after any garden waste the residents generated.
The pilot program was funded by the Sustainability Fund with the support of Eco-Organics to a target group of 250 residents. We conducted an audit at the beginning and end of the project to measure our progress… and the results were… Success! We reduced the food waste in our bins by an average of 2.06kg per week and reduced our overall bin weight by an average of 1.18kg each week (people managed to fill the space created by less food with a few other things).
The feedback I have received from participants has been fantastic, almost 90% of participants rated the Bokashi system as easy-very easy to use and best of all no smells!
Thank-you to the Eco-Organics team for your support and involvement in the project. We have included this project in our new Waste Management Strategy so will be needing you again very soon!
-- Katie Nuthall – Waste and Litter Education Officer, Hume City Council.
Love the product. It surely encourages recycling! Thanks!
-- Mrs Fletcher, Jamisontown NSW
I spoke to you a couple of weeks ago about the beans and pumpkins we grew. These were both planted directly on top of a full bucket of mature bokashi. I have been a vegetable gardener for a long time and I was amazed at the speed of growth and the good health of the plants. The beans were overplanted and never looked it. The seed was out of date which usually means less vigour in their growth and a poor germination. We have been eating masses of beautiful climbing beans which are the most superb flavour. The pumpkins were planted in a poor area where a lemon tree had died. Again the speed of growth was amazing. I harvested them all today from three plants but all sown together, they weighed a total of 48kg with the biggest being 14.5kg. We are having fun!
-- Richard & Sue Thompson
I bought a Bokashi Bucket about 3 months ago. I am absolutely thrilled with it. As we live in a unit with a very small amount of garden, it is ideal for our situation. Thank you Eco-Organics for a great product.
-- Irene Ashbolt, Sydney, N.S.W.
Very happy to be using the Bokashi Bucket. It has reduced the amount of rubbish that goes out in the bin each week. I also get great soil from it. The odourless bin works well in the house and my two teenage sons are happy to dig the holes in the garden because they know it works.
-- Sandy Tibballs, SE Regional Waste Management Group, Victoria
We purchased our Bokashi System about four weeks ago and I have to say, all that you claim on your Website IS TRUE. My 17 Year Old Son has had the Job of emptying our Compost bin, since we are life long vegetarians, Four Kids, Two Adults, our bin (average Bucket with lid) needed emptying every day.
He never did protest, but he is now rapt not to have to do it daily... its taken about three weeks to fill it, and Yep, we will be ordering a Second System, so that the first Lot can BREW... thanks Guys, every kitchen should use this system... I will tell you how my Veggie Garden is faring in a few Months!
-- Banita, eco vision
It is fabulous. We use it on our Olive Grove property in Tasmania. We love it.
-- Ross Stuart, Tasmania
The bokashi bucket is EXCELLENT... it suits my business down to the ground…I don't have smelly rubbish anymore as all of the organic waste from my restaurant's kitchen is put into the bucket to eventually be used on my organic garden... I no longer have to empty my rubbish bins every 2-3 days because of the smell... now I have a very clean area and it is more efficient for my business... I have a really nice totally organic garden and I feel that I am giving back to nature by using the Bokashi bucket... and I think it is definitely a trend to follow!
-- Leon Toy, Toy's Garden Restaurant, Horsham Vic.
I have been using the Bokashi Composting system and find it excellent for the garden and vegetable beds. The house waste decomposes much more rapidly than by the conventional methods.
Initially I was emptying the contents of the fermenting bin directly into the garden beds and digging the contents into the bed. I am using only kitchen waste ie: vegetable,fruit peelings. The kitchen fermenting bin contents are now put directly into rubbish bins and covered with a layer of compost from the original compost bin including dozens of worms. Each fortnight the bins are stirred with a fork.
All this took place three months ago, the broad beans are now 20cms high and the snow peas about the same size around the bins.
-- Bruce & Donna Young, Melbourne.
I greatly appreciate this service. I put the first full bucket into a friend's veggie garden and the soil has improved dramatically if worm count is a good indicator!
-- Bronwen, Castlemaine.
It is a magical thing and we are now encouraging our friends to discover it as well. We dug our first lot in under the mango tree and within just over a week it was looking like fabulous soil, not compost which would take months to look the same... it is a great thing and the garden is turning into a forest.
-- Sue Thompson Earlwood NSW
I am a relative "newby" to the Bokashi system having received it as a gift last year from a friend on the "big island" I have found it brilliant system where just everything from the kitchen goes into the bucket including the things you mustn't put in like meat and citrus peels etc. bones though I then have two fertilisers, the liquid which I dilute 1:10 (or 1:20 / 30 for seedlings,) and the solids I either dig in or add to the compost bin for a richer result, sorry the bread scraps feed the birds! I also use the bokashi powder in my compost bin with lid (the gedye type) and find the breakdown time from raw materials to great compost is almost halved. The worm population has increased and the resulting vegies are super, a great organic product. Great to have near the BBQ and encourage guests to put everything in there (including non coated paper plates and serviettes after they have been soaked in water to soften a little, preferably no bones though. I could rave on about the bokashi system and its attributes and there are so many more things I am experimenting with which I will keep you updated on.
-- Liz Roomes New Town TAS