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Sustainable Living in Cochabamba – Compost Update

The composting systems for the Sustainable Bolivia volunteer houses seem to be working, although I need to drill holes in a few more buckets because we have more food scraps than I realized. I’m looking for milk crates for the final composting stage, though I might use the spare chicken wire I found in the back yard. The compost system works like this: one bucket for fresh scraps until it’s about 2/3 full. Then I put this one to the side for several weeks while we fill an empty bucket with new scraps. Once the second bucket is full, the contents of the first bucket are ready to be put in a milk crate or chicken wire container. I prefer the milk crate option because it allows the most access to air and it’s more durable than chicken wire.

Right now we’re only composting raw veggie and fruit scraps (no meat, dairy, grains, or cooked food) to keep things simple and avoid critters. I check on the compost in each of the houses about once a week to make sure everything is on track. The main house composting system seems to going fine. Our shared dinners on weeknights include about 20 people per night, and produce a fair amount of veggie scraps, so combined with our yard waste, we’re getting quite a bit of compost for the garden – maybe we should start sharing with the neighbors!

Up next in Sustainable Living: A month without plastic?

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