Compost Collective

Compost Collective
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Compost Collective

Compost Collective

Compost Collective

Compost Collective

Compost Collective

Compost Collective

Compost Collective

What is the Compost Collective?

The Compost Collective is an initiative of Marrickville Council's Groundwork program that supports residents living in multi-unit dwellings to compost.

The aims of the Compost Collective are to:

  • reduce the amount of food waste in the domestic mixed waste bins going to landfill;
  • remove the barriers for residents to compost locally through assistance in delivery,
  • installation, signage and communication
  • improve community skill and confidence to use composting systems through on-site
  • education and skills training;
  • lessen the impacts of greenhouse gases on the environment
  • create healthier urban soils;
  • promote skills sharing and peer-supported learning.

Who is eligible to join the Compost Collective?

Marrickville residents that live in multi-unit dwellings, e.g. flats, units or town houses, are eligible to join the Compost Collective.

How can I become involved in the Compost Collective?

Contact Marrickville Council's Environment Project Officer – Community Composting, Emma Daniell, by email at or phone (02) 9335 2129.

What will I get if I join the Compost Collective?

When you join the Compost Collective you will receive:

  • a compost bin, compost spiral (aerating tool), signage, small kitchen-top bucket (one per participating household) and portable scales (which are returned to council after 3 month period)
  • practical advice and education plus hands-on assistance to set up the composting system
  • ongoing support for 6 months from the set-up date.

What does council require me to do?

  • Maintain the compost bin(s) and help to educate and encourage other residents/neighbours wishing to join the project.
  • Weigh the food waste that is put into the compost bin/s and record data for the first 3 months as of joining the project.
  • Promote the Compost Collective and acknowledge Marrickville Council’s contribution.
  • Inform Council’s Environment Project Officer of the need for support if the compost bin is not functioning well.
  • Allow council to inspect bins as part of the project upon reasonable request.
  • Attend a follow-up composting workshop at the Green Living Centre (GLC).
  • Let Council take photos for use in promoting the project.

How does my involvement benefit my unit block and me?

Garden ‘green’ waste such as lawn clippings, dry leaves and plant cuttings can be used to add to the compost system, this could assist in keeping communal areas tidy.

Compost is a valuable resource. You can use the finished compost all around all garden and lawn areas as a soil food or to top up and feed pot plants. Finished compost improves soil structure and plant health, which is great when growing your own fruit, herbs and vegetables. You can save money by converting your waste into a resource to feed your plants.

Since food waste takes up nearly 40% of your red bins it will probably reduce the number of red bins your unit block needs, saving space in common areas.

Introducing a communal activity such as composting is a great way to create community and neighbourly relations. Through composting you can connect and have a common aim, share skills and ideas – this may lead to other benefits/links and build community.

Will it really make a difference if I start composting?

Yes – each household can contribute to change by moving towards zero waste! More than 800,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by NSW householders each year – that is 315 kilograms of food waste for each household going to landfill.

By reducing the amount of food waste going to landfill you will contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

Building your soil can make your plants healthier so you will have less need for treating pests (fewer pesticides), reduce the amount of artificial fertilisers needed, and increase the water holding capacity of your soil (therefore using less water).

What if I don’t have much space?

The standard 210 litre compost bin Marrickville Council provides is approximately 0.8m × 1m, and so doesn't require a large amount of space. The compost bin is best placed on soil, lawn or garden beds.

If you have a sheltered area like a basement car park, you could consider a giant worm farm system.

Will the compost bin smell or attract unwanted creatures?

If you place the correct amount of food waste and dry/garden waste in your compost bin, it should not smell bad.

There is no composting system that will be totally trouble-free – however, managing the system properly will be the key to success. A compost system that is set up adequately and managed well can demonstrate to others an efficient way to divert your food waste going to landfill.

Council will provide the resources and support needed as you learn to get your compost system working well. This will include identifying the beneficial creatures that may take up residency in your compost bin.

What can I do if some people in my unit block object to setting up a compost bin on our site?

Sometimes people may have negative perceptions or experiences of compost systems, or are not aware of the needs of a compost system.

It is best to communicate with residents on your site and keep people informed about the project from the beginning. This way they will understand what is happening and are able to participate and join if interested. Give people a chance to ask questions and discuss the project with you. If people object, have a chat with them about their concerns – Council’s Environment Project Officer can assist with these discussions.

Common reasons people might object are they think composts are smelly, dirty or attract pests or vermin. This may be true of some poorly-managed compost – so you can change people’s experiences by having well-managed compost.

What if some people at my unit block aren’t interested?

The compost collective only requires two units per site to sign up to the compost collective to act as champions and show other units how they can get involved – just a few units can make a real difference.

It’s fine if some people aren't interested – it can’t be expected that everyone will get on board – but not everyone needs to participate for the project to be a success.


EPA logo
This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.