Get started with composting

Published 08 May 2023

Getting started with composting is a simple way to help minimise landfill and improve the health of your garden.

Did you know that for most Australians, half of what ends up in their waste bins are food scraps and organics? Once in landfill, these scraps release methane and in turn, the emissions from landfill make up about 5% of Australia’s total greenhouse gases.

Getting started with composting is a simple way to help minimise landfill and improve the health of your garden.

Pick a space and a method

Find the composting method best suited to you by thinking about the space and time you have available and what items you would be composting most often.

Smaller spaces:

Bench top compost buckets

  • Convenient kitchen bench top compost system for meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, dairy, coffee, and wilted flowers
  • No smells during fermentation
  • You can drain juice for your garden every few days

Bokashi Bins

  • Can be used to compost pet waste
  • Indoor system suitable for smaller spaces such as offices, apartments and units
  • You can put dairy and meat in it
  • Fastest form of composting
  • Makes a small amount of liquid fertiliser that can be used on potted plants when diluted with water

Learn more: Bokashi Composting: A Step By Step Instructional Guide (

Worm Farms

  • Need to be kept in a cool, sheltered location
  • Require regular feeding.
  • Great to compost food waste, but do not need a lot of dry materials

Learn more: Building a Worm Farm - Gardening Australia (

Larger spaces

Compost bins - static ‘traditional’ compost bin or tumbler

  • Suit homes with medium-large backyards
  • Require a mix of food waste/dry materials such as leaves as well as garden clippings.
  • Many people prefer a tumbler to a traditional compost bin. They are enclosed to minimise smells and pests and easier to mix the compost regularly by rotating the tub

Understand what you can and can’t compost for your chosen method is important. Compost is finished when it turns a rich brown colour and is crumbly. Depending on the size and conditions of your compost this may take a few months.

Your garden will love the boost of nutrients and you will have successfully minimised your contribution to landfill greenhouse gases.

Check what your Council is doing

Many councils provide a bin for organic food waste, but it varies across the state. Your local council website should have more information about recycling services and what incentives are available to help get you started with composting.

Learn about what’s available in your area: Council waste and recycling services | Sustainability Victoria