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Can You Add Food Waste to Your Compost Heap?

Updated on June 24, 2013

Food Waste


Can You Add Food Waste To Your Compost Heap?

The short answer is, "Yes you can".

With the bokashi composting system you can add any type of food waste, both cooked and raw, but not bones. Once the food waste has undergone a period of fermentation it can then be added to a compost heap or buried in the ground.

The bokashi composting system is a great way to turn food waste that would otherwise go to landfill. We are all guilty of generating food waste, which is not only wasteful, but is also a waste of money and bad for the environment.

I am sure, each and everyone of us have left food on our plate as children and are told "there are starving children in Africa that would be greatful for that food", to which we shrug our shoulders, and I bet many of you are still leaving food on your plate because there is simply too much to eat.

Here are some shocking statistics about food waste:

Every year 40 million tonnes of food is wasted by US households, retailers and food services, and 20 million tonnes in the UK.

An estimated 20-40% of fuit and vegetables are rejected before reaching the shops, because of aesthetic reasons.

For all the irrigation water used to grow food that is wasted, this would provide the worlds population an extra 200 litres per day.

If we planted trees on land currently used to grow surplus food, it is possible that this could reduce the levels of greenhouse gases by 100%.

So, with all this food waste an extra 1 billion people could be lifted out of food poverty too.

Bokashi/Food Waste Composting


Add Food Waste To Your Compost Heap

Ok, we are all guilty of wasting food, whether it is from over production, over cooking, letting food go off or out of date. Whilst it would be ideal to reduce the amount of food we waste, we have to be realistic and accept we do, and find ways of recycling the food.

So here is how you can!

For the domestic household food waste, we can recycle it and turn it into compost by adding it to the compost heap, but first we must ferment the food waste. This form of composting is called 'Bokashi Composting'. It utilises beneficial microbes fermented with wheat bran which is then added to food waste in a bucket (with a tap), each time food is added until full. This is then sealed tight and allowed to ferment for at least two weeks. In the meantime, you start the process again in a second bucket, creating a continuous cycle. Once fermented, the food waste can be buried in the garden or put on your compost heap to break down; the worms love it.

This system is great because all types of food waste can be used, including cooked or raw, fruit, veg or even meat, but not bones. My philosophy is, "one has spent the money on purchasing the food, better to utilise the waste by turning it into compost than sending it to landfill or dump".

Also, by composting the food waste and recycling it, you are preventing flies from breeding in the decaying food whilst waiting for collection and eliminate that horrible rotting smell too which can ultimately turn into methane, one of the greenhouse gases.

So, 'Bokashi Composting' is good for the environment and for the garden.

Happy Composting!!!

by Alistair Olver

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    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      What a great tip and hub!