Paul Cohen-Tannugi

Waste Diary S01E06

Update & Progress of Compost

Some updates regarding the progress of our Compost Sanctuary.

The past few weeks have been a curve-ball of challenges both on personal level, as well on this project.

Luckily, with the assistance and valuable feedback of my colleagues at Mediamatic, I have been able to regain my focus on this project.

To share one example: creating deadlines for myself to accomplish certain tasks. 

The project we are working on involves implementing a company-wide waste management policy to better deal with our waste, specifically organic/bio-waste produced in the kitchen/bar using our bokashi compost bins, as well as making our outdoor vermicompost for the gardens.

 Things that need to be done:

- Understanding and charting diagrams of the waste-cycle at Mediamatic. This includes a comprehensive study of all the variables involved in the compost: how much waste we are producing; what to do with the compost, including the surplus; how to deal with low-temperatures in the Winter.

- Writing a Compost Manifesto that will be the basis for policy implementation. This will be presented to the kitchen and bar staff, as well as the managers. It will set the tone for proper waste-separation in order to better close our cycles. This will become the legacy for future interns and staff to use the compost.

- Design Elements: To make it easy to use by creating guides and posters.

Down the line:

- Painting and fixing the sanctuary space.

- Planning for a garden to showcase the utility of composting.

- Planning for Spring gardening to grow food, and other plants, and use our fresh vermicompost fertilizer.


 For example:

- What to do with surplus compost? Should we just store it for the future? Or give it to the neighbour, or perhaps a local organic farm?

- Winter temperatures means slower fermentation for the bins outdoors, as well as the vermicompost. 


Fun Facts:

- In an average week, we fill-up one 120L bin with food-scraps from the kitchen. This roughly means, 480L per month (or .48m3/month), most of happening from Wed-Saturday (Pizza days are relatively waste-free).

- Outdoor Garden Compost with 3-piles measurements: 1.80m x 1m x 1m. This gives it roughly 1.8m3 of volume capacity per container, or 5.4m3 (for approx. 5.4t of max capacity).

A rough calculation of (5.4/.48) = 11.25, meaning it will take 11 months-and-a-quarter to max-out the containers capacity. 

However, when we take into account the fact that worms break down compost into castings, thus reducing weight. According to this research paper by Lalander et al., a reduction in weight of 45% is achieved over 63-days. 

This effectively means that as long as we use our compost seasonally in the gardens, there should not be a capacity issue. However, one would have to take into consideration what to do with surplus compost: Should we store it? Give it away, or distribute it to our neighbouring restaurant for them to use? After all, sharing is caring!