In an effort to encourage residents to better manage and utilise their own organic waste in their homes, the City’s free composting containers programme which started in 2016 and happens for a few months every year is now on its 2019 run, offering more residents free compost containers.
The programme has provided roughly 15 000 homes with free composting units since 2016 and hopes to greatly increase that number in the coming months.
Composting containers are particularly useful to residents who have gardens or grow their own herbs and vegetables, as well as those looking to start this, as composted soil provides rich nutrients for growing plants and can be used to boost growth.
Examples of organic waste that can be placed in compost containers include vegetable waste, eggshells, fruits, and teabags. Meat and milk is not to be placed in compost containers.
In addition to helping residents better utilise their organic waste, the composting containers programme also helps divert organic waste from landfills around the city.
The second phase of the roll-out has gone underway, with suburbs like Blouberg, Big Bay, and Melkbostrand being the first on the list. The phase will continue until July with a schedule of the areas that will receive the free containers.
Residents interested in receiving their own free composting containers can see the schedule for composting container distribution here.
You can access the home composting container schedule on the City of Cape Town website to find out when your suburb is scheduled to receive the containers.
Tips for composting at home:
1. Compost should be 50% green matter e.g grass and vegetable leftover and 50% brown matter e.g wood chippings or fallen leaves
2. Chop or shred your composting matter to help it break down more quickly
3. Use composting activator in-between layers of compost to help speed up your process, alfalfa meal is an example of a good natural compost activator
4. Ensure you don’t place diseased or sick plants on your compost container
5. Meat scraps, fish, grease, and oil should not be added to an outdoor composting pile as they take longer to break down and attract unwanted visitors like wild animals
6. Do not add pet waste to your compost, excepting chicken, horse or pig waste which is all fine
7. Paper can be added to your pile but it must not be glossy paper. Newspaper, paper egg cartons and cardboard are fine
8. Avoid milk as it stinks while it breaks down and won’t do your pile any good
9. Stir your compost pile often to expose all parts of it to oxygen essential for decomposition
10. Avoid onions as their acidity is too high to mix with other composting matter and they may hinder the process.