My grandmother is the consummate composter. In her home, nothing goes to waste and everything has a latent purpose. Kitchen scraps are certainly no exception. Vegetable trimmings, fruit peels, eggshells and coffee grinds are not waste, but potential fertilizer for her garden. Throwing these kitchen rejects into a bag to put on the street would be the true waste. In this rubbish, she sees opportunity and in her need to reuse, she gets a little creative. Why not give your kitchen scraps a new purpose by finding alternatives to the waste bin? But how do us “city folk” embrace this organic spirit and turn our cuisine by-products into fruitful soil? It is actually quite easy. First, learn this song. Next, let nature lead the way and the microorganisms literally do the dirty work.
There are several systems to get started at home (see our article on composting):
- a heap (loose pile)
- a container (e.g. with walls of wood, usually several in a row)
- a bin (usually out of dark coloured plastic with a lid and an aeration stick, available in different models at garden centres)
- a wormery: home made (e.g. towering plastic containers), or bought (including worms) online (e.g. Can O’Worms), at nature shops (e.g. Nature et Decouvertes at City 2 and Woluwe Shopping), or at a collective composting place (more info see below, they sell nice models in wood at the one in Watermael-Boisfort, on Sunday afternoons only),
- a Bokashi system, composting cooked food and meat: Belgian Bokashi blog in English
- tumbling system, etc...
Do you have to compost in Belgium? By law the answer is no. However, if you want to reduce your waste removal costs and carbon footprint on the planet, or if you want to create free organic matter or free fertilizer for your terraced or in-ground plants, then your answer is definitely YES!