This month, in an effort to divert as much waste from landfill as possible and to encourage sustainable lifestyle habits, Johannesburg-based waste management company, Whole Earth Recycling — known for recycling over 120 tons of recyclable waste every month — has launched a new curbside food waste collection service called Whole Earth Organic Farm which turns kitchen scraps into compost.
Making composting at home effortlessly fuss-free, the service is simple and rewarding: Whole Earth Organic Farm collects your organic food waste weekly and, at month-end, you receive it right back as a bag of nutrient-rich compost to feed your garden, herbs or pot plants. Who knew saving the planet could be so easy?!
The big issue of waste in South Africa
South Africa is experiencing a critical waste challenge — and experts concur that it’s up to citizens, legislation and businesses, like Whole Earth Recycling and Whole Earth Organic Farm, to work together to fix it.
It’s estimated that South Africa generates more than 122 million tons of waste a year, equating to roughly R25.2 billion worth of dumped waste. Of this, 90% is disposed of in over-capacitated landfill sites and only 10% is recycled. Almost 40% of all waste that ends up in South African landfills is organic and biodegradable. This refers to organic food scraps like potato peels, apple cores, eggshells, coffee grounds, loose tea, citrus peels, bread crusts and, yes, all the food that goes funny in your fridge and simply gets “chucked” in the bin, even fish, meat and bones can be added!
Yet organic waste, of any kind, doesn’t belong in a landfill. Breaking down anaerobically, this waste, compressed under the weight of yet more waste, slowly decomposes and produces methane: a harmful greenhouse gas directly linked to climate change. Organic waste also creates leachate, a pollutant that can run into local water sources at landfills if not managed properly. And, most notably, when organic waste is landfilled, it represents a significant loss of nutrients that could be used for compost and soil fertilisation i.e.: it’s essentially waste that’s wasted and not returned to where it, by Nature, belongs — Earth.
Taking the mess out of home composting
As we all become more conscious of climate change and the need to do our bit to save our planet, adopting more sustainable lifestyle habits is becoming no longer a choice but a necessity.
Carmen Jordaan, Co-Founder of Whole Earth Organic Farm, says: “While home composting is an essential and impactful habit, it’s difficult and intimidating to do it alone. In addition to not knowing where or how to start, many people who want to compost their organic waste at home have the practical constraints of living in a small space; as well as concerns over it being messy, smelly, difficult to manage and attracting unwanted guests such as rats!”
Whole Earth Organic Farm’s service removes all these barriers and headaches, as well as your waste — weekly — and puts you further in touch with Earth by rewarding you at the end of each month with a 2kg bag of nutrient-rich organic compost, which you can use to get your hands dirty (in the best way) by feeding your favourite green friends: whether that be your garden, your veggie patch, your window-sill herbs or your pot plants… and all of this, just in time for Spring!
“We are so incredibly excited to have started our organic farm, to have launched our composting service and to extend Whole Earth Organic Farm’s impact in terms of ensuring that everyday organic waste is not sent to landfill but turned into something of value — just as Nature intended,” says Jordaan. “We have been blown away by the response from both new and existing subscribers and look forward to rolling out our kitchen waste collection service which makes it easy, effortless and rewarding for South Africans to be more sustainable, and to have a better, more conscious connection to the only home we have: Earth,” says Jordaan.
How you can be part of the solution
Being an eco-warrior has never been simpler. Currently available and rolling out to certain suburbs in Johannesburg. Whole Earth Organic Farm hopes to extend this new, exciting, much-needed offering to more areas, and possibly nationwide, in the near future. If you’d like to find out more about the new organic kitchen waste collection and composting service, visit www.wholeearth.co.za.