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THE ULTIMATE IN-GARDEN COMPOST SYSTEM

Malabugilmah

2018 - Clarence Valley, NSW

From August to October in 2018, the Compost Central team travelled out to the remote indigenous community of Malabugilmah, to work with members of the community building garden beds and compost systems to give the residents a means of growing their own food and managing their own food waste on site.

The Malabugilmah compost project is a part of the communities rubbish management plan, aiming to reduce waste to landfill by increasing organic recycling. The project is one of 29 projects in Aboriginal communities across NSW funded under the NSW EPA’s Aboriginal Community Waste Management Program

Our team initially gave a presentation on converting organic waste to food to the Malabugilmah community, during a waste program with Elaine Toogood (N.E. Waste), Keith Bolton and Ross James (CEO of Jana Ngalee Aboriginal Land Council). The community was very enthusiastic and soon after the Compost Central team headed back with materials and produce, ready to assemble raised custom garden beds with composting systems.

Using up-cycled materials - an old boat, a busted wading pool, a cracked water tank, a number of duraplas tanks - we created 7 raised garden beds. Key to the project was community engagement.

.Auntie Carol, an elder of the community, was proud of the community coming together to complete this project, exclaiming that she “had not seen this type of community engagement in over 20 years”. We installed a Subpod in Aunty Carol’s garden ship along with the kids from the local school. Everyone, including the children, gained a lot from workshops we held - how to make compost buckets, build garden beds and plant vegetables

Another part of engaging the community was a presentation for the kids at the local primary school where Andrew taught the importance building up the soil and composting giving answers to one child’s innocent, yet key question “what’s so special about soil?”.

On our several trips back to the Malabugilmah community, weeks after the installs, the garden beds were thriving with produce, and it was very evident that the community had taken a genuine sense of pride in their garden beds, and were making the connection between growing food and composting their waste.

We're committed and excited to be working with more and more communities like Malabugilmah, in localising food production and waste management, and giving a sense of food ownership and responsibility back to people.

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The Malabugilmah compost project is a part of the communities rubbish management plan, aiming to reduce waste to landfill by increasing organic recycling. The project is one of 29 projects in Aboriginal communities across NSW funded under the NSW EPA’s Aboriginal Community Waste Management Program

This project is supported by the NSW EPA Waste Less Recycle More initiative.

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