Guardian was recently successful in securing $2,500 of funding from North Sydney Council – the “greeNSchools” grant – for Walker Street Early Learning Centre. The greeNSchools program supports North Sydney preschools, childcare centres, primary schools and high schools to develop, implement, review and celebrate environmentally-friendly actions and outcomes. Through a range of initiatives, North Sydney Council help schools understand and take action on energy, waste, water, climate change and biodiversity.
For the last four months, Walker Street Early Learning Centre has had a Hungry Bin worm farm set up. Worm farms require constant feeding of worm-friendly foods to ensure they eat, breed and produce a healthy amount of worm juice. While the worms at Walker Street have been healthy and busy making lots of worm juice, there was still still food waste entering landfill (through a general waste bin).
Here are a couple interesting facts. Approximately 40% of landfill in Australia is made up of food waste. Methane gasses from decaying organics in landfills are over 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide emissions (contributing to climate change). This is why addressing the excess food waste was an important initiative.
From the funding received from North Sydney Council, we invested some into an organic composter “CLO’ey”. This is a domestic composter and can process up to 4kg of food scraps per day, making it a valuable resource for our centre and definitely helps to reduce the centre’s overall carbon footprint.
When it comes to making compost, you can literally add anything edible into it. This includes meat, dairy and citrus products which are no good for feeding worm farms. CLO’ey uses an organic starter material to safely decompose your food waste within 24 hours. Heat, agitation and airflow are applied to the unit’s contents to assist the naturally occurring microbes in the starter material compost your food waste. Why Guardian chose this composter is because we can run it without using any chemicals or other harmful products. this makes it safe to have in our centre environment.
At Walker Street Early Learning Centre, the composter is located outside in the centre’s yard area which has meant we had to build and install a custom-made waterproof shed for it. We can now compost all food scraps (excluding bones, avocado seeds and excessive cooking oils) generated by the centre. Once compost is made, it is then used in the centre’s garden beds to grow more veggies.
Doesn’t this sound like a really sustainable idea!