Nurture: Jennifer Ayres’ garden benefits from nutrient-rich compost.
Nurture: Jennifer Ayres’ garden benefits from nutrient-rich compost.
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There’s not much worse than having to take the smelly filled-up garbage bags out to the road for pick up.

But what if you could cut down on some of that garbage all, while helping out your garden?

For years, people have been putting to use their old food scraps and turning them into compost that can be added to gardens, lawns and house plants and improves soil texture and health.

With so much pressure being put on Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility, there is also an environmental need for people to start getting into composting, according to Vanese Flood Gordon, education and enforcement officer at Waste Management.

“Waste Management bears the responsibility for collecting and processing solid waste,” says Mrs Flood Gordon. “Home composting reduces the amount of materials that must be collected, transported to the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility, and disposed of or otherwise processed. On average, each household in Bermuda throws away 287lbs of kitchen food waste a year. Home composting is the most cost effective waste management option available.”

Waste Management has made it easy for people to start composting by making available for purchase composting Earth Machines.

Since introducing the Earth Machines, hundreds of people have enjoyed the benefits of producing their own compost. Other benefits include reducing their garbage by 30 per cent, says Ms Flood Gordon.

Discreet

The Earth Machines are large enough to be filled by a family of five but small and discreet enough to place in a small patch of the garden. It also comes with a handy, sealed bucket that can be placed in the kitchen to fill up with scraps to be taken out to the machine.

Laura Smith, a teacher at Dellwood Middle School, began composting three years ago after she took her students for a tour of the Material Recovery Facility and met Mrs Flood Gordon.

Ms Smith cooks a lot and has seen the amount of garbage decrease since she started composting.

“When I am in the kitchen I simply drop any fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and egg shells into a separate container and dump it into the compost as needed,” she explains. “Every couple of months I turn over the contents of the compost container. I also add some garden clippings and weeds to help maintain the balance of organic matter.”

While she hasn’t yet used the compost soil, she says it’s amazing how quickly the scraps start to break down.

“When the Earth Machine is filling up with what looks like loads of stuff, I’ll check back a few days later and it’s already completely decomposed.”

Jenifer Ayres, who also purchased an Earth Machine from Waste Management, began composting six years ago.

She says she has a lovely garden and less garbage since beginning to compost.

“The benefits of composting for me are enriching the soil to grow vegetables for my table,” she says.

While Stephanie Carne isn’t a big gardener, she started using her composter about three years ago to reduce garbage.

“Living in Bermuda, there is a much higher chance that you are going to get fruits and veggies that spoil. You don’t feel nearly as guilty throwing stuff out when you have a composter,” she says. “When you eat lots of fruits and veg, you can fill your kitchen compost bucket pretty quickly. Then there is less garbage to walk to the curb.”

The only items that aren’t good for the compost are meat or fat products, Mrs Carne says.

Nathan Worswick, who divides his time between Guatemala and Bermuda, continues on a tradition of composting that started with him when he was a young boy.

“It was part of my chores growing up,” he says. “The whole family helped and all of us still do including my parents who are now in their mid-80s.”

He says there is very little time involved in composting and that it is the same amount of time spent taking out the trash.

He says that composting also gives him a general appreciation for gardening and an organic mentality.

Mrs Carne adds: “You feel good about doing your bit to improve the environment. You are encouraging and educating your kids about composting and responsible waste management.”

To purchase an Earth Machine, contact Vanese Gordon Flood on 278-0563.