Office Composting: A Practical Guide

Office Composting: A Practical Guide

Office Composting: A Practical Guide

Many of us have experienced the benefits of composting at home, but what about in the workplace? What happens to lunch scraps in the office? Bokashi composting can be a fantastic solution for office kitchens with just a little bit of management. Composting in the workplace not only benefits the environment and boosts employee morale, but it can also save money by significantly reducing the amount of waste the business needs to dispose of.

Recently, we received several insightful questions about this topic. Here are some of the most common ones:

Question: Is Bokashi suitable for an office environment?  Answer: Yes, Bokashi is suitable for an office environment. With the lid on, there is no smell. When adding waste, the lid should only be open for a few seconds. The smell, resembling cider vinegar, does not linger once the lid is replaced. We provide recommendations on managing Bokashi composting in an office. While Bokashi composting is straightforward, having a structure in place ensures success, especially with different people involved. Keep reading for more tips!

Question: Is it best to have two buckets? Answer: Yes, using two buckets is the best system. Once one bucket is full, leave it to ferment and start filling the second bucket. You need to empty the first bucket before the second one is full to keep the rotation going. If your office produces a large amount of waste, you might need more than two buckets. Always ensure there's a bucket available for new waste.

Question: Is there an ongoing expense? Do you need to keep buying products? Answer: Yes, you need to add Bokashi mix to the bucket when adding waste. However, the ongoing cost is minimal. One kilogram of Bokashi One Mix costs $13.99, enough for 60-100 litres of waste. The Bokashi mix is crucial as it contains beneficial microorganisms that ferment the waste and expedite its breakdown when added to soil.

How to Get the Most Out of Bokashi Composting in the Office

Here are our recommendations for effectively managing Bokashi composting in your office:

  1. Plan the Final Composting Stage: Determine where the fermented Bokashi waste will go to complete the composting process. The waste ferments in the Bokashi bucket, significantly reducing in volume, the bucket will eventually fill.  To complete the composting process, the waste needs to be buried under soil or added to another composting system. If your office has a garden, that’s perfect! If digging holes isn't suitable, adding the fermented waste to a composter could be an easier solution. Check out our videos on adding waste to worm farms and compost If there is no garden there are other solutions check out our blog on “composting with no garden”
  1. Spread the Word: Communicate with everyone in the workplace about what you are doing let them know all the benefits. Don’t forget to let the cleaners know!
  2. Create a Dedicated Team: Find team members willing to spend about 10 minutes a couple of times a day managing the Bokashi Bucket. It’s more effective to have a few dedicated people adding the waste and mix to the bucket and draining the juice rather than many people doing it haphazardly.
  3. Set Up a Waste Collection Station: Place an open plastic tub on the kitchen bench with a clear sign asking colleagues to add all food waste. You can print a poster detailing what can be added. Bokashi is excellent for offices as it takes almost all food waste, including bread, citrus, meat, and dairy.
  1. Bokashi Bucket - Once or twice a day, a “Bokashi Buddy” should add the food waste from the collection tub to the bucket with a sprinkling of Bokashi mix. Continue this process until the bucket is full. Fermenting waste can be squashed down to make room for more. Bokashi juice needs to be drained every 1-2 weeks. This juice can be poured down the drain for a natural clean or diluted to make a great liquid fertilizer.
  2. Rotate the Buckets: When a bucket is full, replace it with an empty one and start the process again.
  3. Full Bucket: Let the full bucket ferment for 2-4 weeks, draining the juice weekly.
  4. Empty & Clean Bucket: Once emptied, clean the bucket thoroughly and prepare it for the next rotation.

Implementing these steps will help your office successfully manage Bokashi composting, reducing waste and contributing to a more sustainable environment.


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