How to Build a Master Composting Demo Site

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How to Build a Master Composting Demo Site
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There are now over 40 Master Composter demo sites around Ireland. These sites consist of different composting systems and are maintained by local volunteers who are trained in how these systems work

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Stop Food Waste built these sites in conjunction with local authorities and other community groups. Their goal is to provide a place where individuals and groups can learn, hands on, about composting

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1. Before you start, choose your site carefully. Make sure it has easy access, a water supply, is visible and is supported by local residents. An interested local contact is essential for maintenance

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Choosing the site in Castlebridge, Co. Wexford

Choosing the site in Castlebridge, Co. Wexford

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2. Choose the composting systems for your site. Once the site is chosen, and, depending on space available and the type and amount of materials to be composted, different composters can be installed

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There are a wide variety of composting systems to choose from. For more on these go to www.stopfoodwaste.ie

There are a wide variety of composting systems to choose from. For more on these go to www.stopfoodwaste.ie

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3. Clear the site - once the site plan has been agreed remove any large items so the site can be levelled and prepared. No need to remove grass or other weeds, just a general clear out will do

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Getting the site ready

Getting the site ready

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3. The weed barrier - Plastic breathable fabric or layers of cardboard (remove plastic tape) can be used for this. The cardboard is free but will eventually break down whereas the plastic will not

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4. Mulch is your friend! Cover the cardboard or weed barrier with 15-20cm or 6-8” of mulch. Chipped up tree trimmings, bark or wood chips can be used. Add a fresh layer every year or two.

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Using old cardboard as a weed barrier

Using old cardboard as a weed barrier

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5. Prepare site and compost bins - Based on the site plan, and the different composters being installed, prepare the areas needed for the different composters and get the building materials needed

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Preparing area for worm bin

Preparing area for worm bin

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Building our own worm bin - You can build most composting systems using basic materials. For information on how to build the different composters go to   www.stopfoodwaste.ie

Building our own worm bin - You can build most composting systems using basic materials. For information on how to build the different composters go to www.stopfoodwaste.ie

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The worm bin in its new home

The worm bin in its new home

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6. Put up signs and make it look nice! Stop Food Waste have signs for different composters as well as educational posters for your site. For more info on these contact Stop Food Waste

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The new site with composting bins and signs all in place

The new site with composting bins and signs all in place

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7. Make Compost! Start filling the leaf mould cages, pallet composter, plastic bin, turning system or worm bin and make compost! See www.stopfoodwaste.ie to learn how to operate all of the systems

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Composting is a fine art and our demo sites around the country aim to help people learn by doing.   For more information on sites in your area, or to start one, contact us at stopfoodwaste@gmail.com

Composting is a fine art and our demo sites around the country aim to help people learn by doing. For more information on sites in your area, or to start one, contact us at stopfoodwaste@gmail.com

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