The ‘Hackett’ Compost Collective is a bit of a misnomer because you don’t have to be a Hackett resident to contribute! The name is there as more of a legacy and also a reminder that community composting works best on the local scale.
Contributor Marie-Helene shows us all that the HCC can help reduce waste to landfill not only in our own homes but by allowing others to be involved also. Marie-Helene has been a HCC member since last July when she heard all about the HCC in the SEE-Change newsletter. At the time she was living in North Ainslie. I was more than happy to take a small detour off the bike path to pick up her bucket of scraps on a regular basis. Since then, something drew her to move to Hackett. Funnily enough it was around the same time that another HCC member (Caitlin in Lyneham) moved to Hackett also! I’ve always had in mind expanding the HCC to other suburbs but I didn’t imagine that other suburbs would come to us!
Marie-Helene actually keeps three buckets on hand, one for the kitchen bench, a larger one outside that she empties into, and a third that she takes to work. She’s noticed that the small amounts of organic waste generated in the work place, from coffee grounds to banana peels, add up. And while a banana peel here and there might not seem like much the small bucket has been appreciated by many. Indeed, while Marie-Helene was moving house she took a break from scraps collections (understandable!) but her colleagues, including her director, missed the opportunity to send their waste somewhere worthwhile. Marie-Helene is settled into Hackett now and the three bucket system is working great.
Scott and I also take buckets to our workplaces to get them filled with goodies. In Scott’s case he works with lots of younger people living in apartments so it’s not unheard of that he is bringing home 4 or more buckets full of scraps in his bike panniers on any given day. All of these HCC contributors are valued. And like Marie-Helene, all of them feel better knowing that their scraps are not ending up in landfill. A win-win all round!
Marie-Helene is originally from Canada and she’s certainly not afraid of a little weather. As a side note: I love getting the perspective from people from different climates, to think that I used to hold off on riding my bike if it looked like rain! So it didn’t bother her at all that she walked over with her full buckets during the wettest part of this Queen’s birthday holiday (the skies are clearing now as I write this). It’s fantastic when people in the same local community can help each other out. In the same way, Marie-Helene would like to get her own compost heap started and I’d love to help with that. As Marie-Helene and her family live in a unit she needs to arrange permission with the body corporate first. After all, there can be concerns with pests and odours when it comes to composting. But with proper management it really is the best way to manage our wastes and turn them into something wonderful. At the very least I can share some semi-composted materials with Marie-Helene to serve as ‘activator’ in a new heap, as well as plenty of tips for a productive heap. In the meantime we’ll keep the full and empty buckets circulating, and anyone is welcome to help us fill them up 🙂