Food waste collection

My council has now introduced food waste collection. We have a brown wheelie bin for garden waste (lawn clippings and plants, etc) and now we can put food waste in that too. Can put in meat, fish, bones, tea & coffee, fruit and veg (though will still use compost bin for these), cheese, eggs, bread, pasta, rice…. 

No more need for Bokashi – it didn’t really work all that well – the second batch of Bokashi bran I bought went off, even though was kept airtight….. Oh dear, forgot to empty the 2nd bin…. sealed… not looking forward to emptying it. Still, the bins themselves will be useful – I can make comfrey (or nettle) liquid feed.

Label making

Picture tutorial for making labels from drinks cans.  Please take care when making these labels – the metal edges can be very sharp and can cut. The folded edges are less sharp but also give the label a bit more “strength”

Light therapy & recycling

I was reading yesterday’s Weekend section in the Daily Telegraph and came across a brief interview with Gordon Ramsey. One question asked was, “What, in human history, do you wish had never been invented?” His reply was, “Okra. That strange slimy enzyme it releases when you slice is something out of a horror movie….” I like horror movies!

Elsewhere in Saturday’s Telegraph was an article in the magazine about what happens to a mobile phone when it goes for recycling, and also briefly about the manufacture. Components that make up the mobile phone are made up from metals and other things, many of which in their raw state are toxic… The phone casing protects us from those nasty things, though the casing is mainly plastics but contains small amounts of phthalates (high levels perhaps damage hormonal systems). Other metals used in phones are copper, magnesium, tin, gold, arsenic, chromium, beryllium, cobalt, lithium, silver, tantalum.. Coltan, which is a mineral containing tantalum and niobium (also known as columbium), is important in the manufacture of mobile phones. The article says that a few years ago, there were reports of coltan being mined in inhumane conditions (area was in a civil war) & child labour?. With the boom in electronics requiring tantalum (such as gaming consoles and even more mobile phones…), the price of coltan rose and the rebel leaders used it to raise cash for arms. As for recycling, components may be sent to China and perhaps not in “safe” conditions… Some of the phones collected for recycling end up being dumped (“it’s cheaper”), though most get reused. The author found an agent sending phones to Africa and was able to follow the phone through to the new owner.  The article in the magazine is an edited extract from a book, Confessions of an Eco Sinner. Might add that book to my reading list.

Again on the recycling theme, I came across Stonehead’s blog via a messageboard. He did a trip to the recycling point only to find out that a lot of the things he had brought for recycling were going to go to landfill, including AA and AAA batteries. Makes you wonder about this recycling malarky – paper being shipped to China for recycling… Re-use is certainly a better option. Perhaps schools and clubs want yogurt pots, cardboard and the like for craft projects.. I need to make more labels from drinks cans. Newspaper – well, perhaps I’ll even get round to making those seed mats that I mentioned a few years ago in A4A!

It arrived

Yay, the Bokashi system thing arrived today. The Bokashi bran stinks (though not as bad as neat comfrey/nettle glop). First, have to fit the taps, and then the drain tray. Then have dinner later tonight…  I am so excited!

The leaflet says, “You can transform ALL food waste (including bread, meat, fish and cheese) into a super healthy nutrient rich, juicy compost with a small and compact system in your kitchen – no smells, no flies!” Smells- well, I’ve already mentioned the bran. Guess I’ll have to find a container for it. “Bokashi is a Japanese term meaning ‘Fermented Organic Matter’. It is a bran-based material that has been fermented with EM (friendly bacteria) and dried for storage. Bokashi is a pleasant smelling product which, when added to your bucket, aids the fermentation of organic matter.” The initial shock of the smell has dissipated; not sure if I’d call it pleasant now….

There will be liquid that can be drained off – a liquid feed that can be diluted and used around the garden (not to be used as a foliar feed). Also, they suggest that the concentrated stuff be used in drains and toilets to prevent algae build-up and control odours.

I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

EM Bokashi thing

Ordered the EM Bokashi kit thing for dealing with cooked food waste. It is due to arrive within 4 weeks.

I am expecting another delivery shortly – that is, HSL seeds. On one of the messageboards, some have said they’ve received theirs already. Hope mine come tomorrow.

Patience is a virtue!

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