HCC continues to grow with new members supplying lovely scraps. Some new contributors were convinced to sign up at the Hackett Party at the Shops recently. This was a great event and I was kept busy talking compost all day. The weather was just about perfect and there was a great atmosphere with lots of music and dancing.
We really are very lucky to have such a vibrant and engaged community in Hackett.
It was probably a bit unusual to have a big pile of compost at such an event. Hackett is obviously populated with compost lovers already though, there were plenty of people who approached me who were composting or who had at least given it a go at some stage. In fact the main line of questioning all day was about tips for how people could improve or remediate their own heaps.
I’m more than happy to give out composting tips but I’m also aware that efficient hot composting is always going to be faster and more productive than a heap that is not constantly fed and monitored. This is the really great thing about the HCC heap. Not only does it perform composting services for those that are not inclined or don’t have the time, but it also performs a whole lot better than if the waste was spread out among many slow backyard heaps. Together we can create lovely compost, more quickly!
Speaking of efficient compost making, I have to mention an aspect that can hinder our production: Contamination. The main contaminant in the HCC heap is fruit stickers. Someone at the party at the shops had an interesting perspective in that they assumed that the stickers were designed to degrade. That would be a decent assumption to make but unfortunately is not the case. The stickers may look like paper but they are actually plastic and the glue isn’t great either. I could write a whole blog post on these terrible little things! Other common contaminants that I pick out of the heap are rubber bands (from around bunches of greens etc) and other small bits of packaging. Can I ask everyone to keep an eye out for these items and keep them out of the buckets?
At the moment, seeing as the composting at HCC is still very manual that means that I can pick out every single fruit sticker that I see. And because I’m turning the heap manually via pitchfork then I do see most of it! It’s great that the HCC is building in a slow yet steady way. That enables me to think carefully about some of these issues while at the same time hopefully building an engaged community that understand the responsibilities of waste source separation as well as the benefits of less waste to landfill and great quality compost for all of us to use.
And we’re getting there! One of our newer members in Downer took the effort to label her buckets so that the whole household could quickly reference the ins and outs of what to donate. I think it looks fab! And I’m sure it is helping raise the quality of the compost too 🙂