Friends of the Farm were busy at the recent Ambury Riding Centre event and collected 51kgs of rubbish. Our food fairies raided all the bins in the centre and sorted everything they could, so much of this waste was event prep and general school-day waste. The final tally was recycling 26% and compost 27%, which equals 53% diverted from landfill. That’s just over 25kg of rubbish!
The Food Scraps fairies had lots of good conversations with people at the event including the pros and cons of using insinkerators or waste disposal units to get rid of food waste.
Given that you shouldn’t put corn husks, egg shells, grease, meat bones, onion skins, banana skins, tea bags or paper towels down waste disposal units, we reckon our new food scraps bins which take all that stuff are a much better option. The food scraps are turned into biogas and fertilizer whereas the sludge from waste disposal units just goes to wastewater or sewage treatment plants. Once the waste from kitchen disposal units reaches the treatment plant, water is evaporated, solid particles are screened out and turned into fertiliser or sent to landfill or pumped out to sea.
Waste disposal units can create significant environmental and structural challenges as aging pipes are pushed beyond breaking point and contamination leaks into the harbour, as has happened recently in both Wellington and Auckland.
Australia banned insinkerators in 2013 because of the extra load they put on wastewater and sewage systems. They are also banned in parts of Europe, Scotland and Canada too.
Home compost systems, worm farms, bokashi systems and the Food Scraps bins are more climate-friendly options.