LETTER: Let’s keep composting local and small-scale

From reader Martin Lane

Re: Nelson council skeptical about RDCK compost plan

I see the City of Nelson is discussing whether to join the RDCK compost collection program.

I have been composting for about 15 years in my garden. It started with four pallets lashed together and has grown. I turn out enough compost yearly to have not needed to purchase any for a number of years and I have given some to a few neighbours.

The quality of the garden soil I started with was poor, the topsoil shallow. It contained many large rocks and was composed of local largely coniferous material which sustained local weeds well enough but not a vegetable garden. Over the years I have successfully been creating soil good for growing food. The rocks now make up the drystack walls, retaining the terraces and I continue to use pallets to create the bins, thereby recycling unwanted materials also.

Nelson could manage without a centralized composting program if we were to develop a matrix of block or compost co-operatives. There are also local food growers who bring their produce in to the city and might join in an initiative to use locally generated organic waste matter.

If we as a community were to develop such a system we would be able to save trucking costs to take our waste for processing and to bring products from goodness knows where in which to grow our gardens. The environmental impact of residents growing their own food and decorative gardens could be much reduced and we would be benefiting from using our own product in our own yards and greenhouses.

We would need to develop protocols to deter the attracting of creatures of the domestic and natural world from accessing composts to supplement their diet but I’m sure we have the ingenuity to accomplish that.

Martin Lane

Nelson

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