I’m pretty pleased with myself ever since we moved to this new place.
The first thing that struck me was that I could have my own organic composting area. In my previous apartment, we didn’t have space at all so putting 10 pots on the balcony was simply out of the question.
Now that I have a bit of garden space, we’ve reduced the amount of rubbish we throw away each day.
We do this because we compost our organic materials.
I first learnt this technique from Don who teaches people how to recycle easily and successfully without much hassle.
When I think of traditional composting, I think of smell! It would stink to high heaven, right? And attract flies and ants. And maybe even birds!
Don rubbished my fears. He showed me his 10-pot system, a system that’s so simple yet works so beautifully it’s hard to believe! (See below for the link to the method).
So I am trying it out.
First you need a container to store your food scraps of the day. You only compost it at the end of the day so you ‘collect’ them first. I bought my clay container from a crockery shop in Carnavon Street for RM13. It is usually used to store salt (or in some hawker stalls, to store sauces for cooking) but I use mine to store food scraps (veggie peel, fruit peel, fish bones, chicken bones, anything you’ve eaten etc). Here’s how mine looks like:
As it has a heavy clay lid, I don’t have to worry about Margaret getting her fat paws into it or the scraps stinking all day.
This clay pot is also glazed on the inside so you can easily wash off oil and grease with soap and water. This pot is about 9 inches tall and sits next to my sink.
I toss all sorts of stuff into this – garlic skin, vegetable peel, fruit peel, stale bread, cooked leftovers, fish bones, chicken bones, lala shells, leftover rice.
Basically anything that you can eat, you can compost.
Next you need 10 pots of about 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Any cheap clay pots would do. We bought these for RM5 apiece in the local nursery as they were a bit chipped and cracked.
And then go here for the full instructions on how to compost. We usually compost the scraps at night, once dinner is done. So 1 pot should last you 3 days before you move on to pot #2.
In case you have a large family, go get bigger pots. (It’s only Nic and me but then again sometimes we eat a lot so we have a mountain of food scraps!)
I’m now filling up the 5th pot already. By the time I’ve filled the 10th pot, I should be able to go and dig the 1st pot and find all the food scraps disintegrated into fresh, rich soil.
Which I can use to grow the plethora of herbs I’ve been meaning to.
Which also means, my regular rubbish bin isn’t overflowing with stinky rubbish. It’s just mostly plastic wrappers which cannot be recycled.
Underneath my sink, I’ve put a collection container for recyclables such as glass bottles, plastic bottles, newspaper, cardboard and tins. These go to the nearest recycling centre every once a month. The nearest centre I go to is the SIMA Handicapped Centre just off the Jalan Tengku Kudin roundabout. Our ‘junk’ actually helps the disabled earn their living.
I always like dropping off my recyclables (they also take in usable household items like clothes and furniture) because the disabled are always so appreciative of the things you give. They light up with their innocent and generous smiles and never fail to thank you with a friendly wave.
If you have a small plot of garden, do try this system of composting. I assure you, if you follow Don’s method to the book, you won’t be smelling your food scraps.
Imagine if all of us who can do this are doing this – how much we can save in terms of landfill space and how much less leachate will seep into our rivers and seas. That’s why I say I am proud to be creating so little rubbish for the rubbish truck!