(Compiled by Bronwyn Scallan, Volunteer Coordinator, Gardening and Environmental Management Group).
In 2012, Silver Tree was very fortunate to receive a grant from The Waste Wise Schools Program through the Western Australian Landfill Levy fund to purchase two outdoor compost tumblers, a Bokashi composting bin and two fridge Worm Farms. This grant provided us with the opportunity to purchase this much needed waste management infrastructure that we had not been able to afford until this point.
As a result of this new waste management infrastructure, our current waste management practices have improved; our school gardens and orchard is benefiting and our students are further developing their skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in regard to sustainable waste management practices. A fabulous outcome!
Silver Tree provides healthy morning tea to kindergarten children every day so our new compost bins mean Silver Tree can utilise these food scraps to make compost for their blossoming kindergarten gardens. The kindergarten gardens contain vegetables and some fruit trees and many flowers that all benefit from our compost.
These are planted and nurtured by our kindergarten teachers with help from our kindergarten children. Kindergarten children fill the compost bins with their food scraps and straw and other organic materials and have fun tumbling it all around together.
Primary school children compost their food scraps from cooking classes in the bins. Class 2/3 is responsible for checking the compost bins and adding “green” and “brown” organic waste to the compost, ensuring it is watered and healthy, and for tumbling the compost. They also learn about the need to cure compost and they will dig the compost into our vegetable gardens and orchard when it is cured.
A Bokashi bin was purchased for the playgroup so they too could produce their own compost for their own garden. The juice is added to the playgroup gardens and the “dry” waste to the playgroup compost pile.
Silver Tree’s composting solutions combined with our 2 fridge worm farms and our school policy of lunch boxes having no packaging and a “take your lunch rubbish home” policy, mean all food scraps generated the school are treated as a resource and our recycling and our rubbish bins have more space in them.
The Maze ROTO Twin Composter is a great compost bin for use by children as they are able to be filled and turned easily. Our appreciation goes to www.compostinghome.com.au for their generous discount in the purchase of our two compost tumblers, and for their support of our compost bin fundraiser, which enabled us to buy two of our compost bins, as well as two much needed wheelbarrows and various plants for our gardens.