How to start composting at work

By Greg Bell

It's never a bad idea to help the planet and reuse waste that would otherwise go to a landfill. This doesn't have to stop outside the home – in fact, encouraging your employees to adopt clean, green practices in the office is a great way to promote cooperation and teamwork. Here, we look at how you can start composting at work.

What is composting?

Composting is where organic matter is broken down into a natural fertilizer, perfect for your plants and flowers. Compost is rich in nutrients, and helps plants combat disease and increase their oxygen intake. Though the process of creating compost seems daunting, you'll find that it actually requires little more than the waste you already have, however, there are limitations. For composting to occur, there needs to be a blend of brown and green waste, which release carbon and nitrogen during the biodegrading process.

Brown waste, usually dry, includes:

  • Hay, leaves and sticks.
  • Newspaper.
  • Tea bags.
  • Egg shells.

Green waste, usually moist, is:

  • Manure.
  • Grass clippings.
  • Fruit and vegetable peels and scraps.

It's important not to include any meat or bones in your compost. Not only will this attract pests and maggots, but processed materials can harm your plants too.

How can I encourage employees to compost?

Introducing your staff to a workplace compost system is one thing – getting it to actually work is another. However, with a bit of education and motivation, soon your staff will have their very own compost to use for their personal plants or those in the office.

Educate your staff on the lifecycle of food

A great way to get your employees engaged and excited about composting is to educate them on why you're doing it in the first place. While there's no need for a sit-down science lesson, it's beneficial to chat with them about where waste goes in relation to their own scraps. Take a banana peel for example. It starts on a tree, and through composting, can be put back into nature, rather than being sent to a rubbish tip. You might even consider talking to your staff about local landfill statistics, and how to cut down on your office waste.

Start a staff food scrap bin

After informing your staff of the idea, place a designated food scrap bin into your office kitchen. Having encouraging signs nearby indicating what can and can't go into the receptacle reminds your staff to think more about where their waste is going, and if applicable, contribute to the system.

Set up your compost bin

If there's room in an outdoor area at your commercial property, it's the perfect place to set up your compost bin. Choosing a bin is easy, and they can be purchased relatively cheaply at many garden and hardware stores across the Gold Coast – just make sure to buy a tight lid to stop pests from setting up home in your compost heap. Place your bin in a sunny spot, out of the wind and rain. It should be placed on grass too, so worms and bugs can crawl in to help aerate your mixture. After you've poured your compost mixture in, all you need to do is stir it every few weeks and top it up with your food waste when needed.

If you haven't got space for a compost bin at work, don't worry – donating your food scraps to a local community group or garden is a great way to rally your staff together, as well as being stellar PR for your business.

Looking for a new Gold Coast commercial property for your business? Reach out to the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise for a friendly chat.

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