Queensland Sustainable Schools

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Department of Education and Training

Composting

Overview

Organic or ‘green waste’ makes up about half of the household waste that is sent to landfill and consists of materials such as food waste (vegetable and fruit scraps) and garden waste (prunings, leaves, grass clippings). When green waste is sent to landfill, it breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) to produce the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide that are known to contribute to global warming.

Much of the land used for landfill is also unusable at a later date because toxins and chemicals released during rubbish decomposition contaminate the soil. However landfill is not the only way to dispose of organic waste. A more environmentally sustainable approach to recycling green waste is through the process of composting.

The composting process

Composting involves using bacteria, fungi and/or worms in a compost heap/bin or worms in a worm farm breaking down green waste aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) to produce nutrient-rich soil supplements ideal for the garden. Recycling green waste in this way not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas released to the environment, it also helps reduce the amount of land lost to landfill and soil contamination.

Composting is a great way for schools to reduce the amount of organic waste they send to landfill and there are many activities that schools can engage in to introduce students to the concept of sustainable waste management. The links below provide useful information about composting, worm farms and the management of green waste.

Composting involves using bacteria, fungi and/or worms in a compost heap/bin or worms in a worm farm breaking down green waste aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) to produce nutrient-rich soil supplements ideal for the garden. Recycling green waste in this way not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas released to the environment, it also helps reduce the amount of land lost to landfill and soil contamination.

Composting is a great way for schools to reduce the amount of organic waste they send to landfill and there are many activities that schools can engage in to introduce students to the concept of sustainable waste management. The links below provide useful information about composting, worm farms and the management of green waste.