Monday, March 19, 2007


Colin Berry, despite designating his blog a comment-free zone, is still pursuing subjects of topical interest, such as household waste.

He, like I, is following Lila das Gupta's Telegraph 'Re-cycle of Life' blog, which is showing some improvement after an irritating start.

My compost bin is doing well and devouring our raw vegetable waste by the metric tonne (as we're in France). Once we get to one cubic metre of waste, we can add a product to speed up the composting process so it takes less than four months before we can throw it onto the garden. We have noticed the marked reduction in household waste that having the bin has resulted in, although we still have to throw away cooked waste.

Help may be at hand however. Lila has drawn our attention to the Bokashi bin, which recycles cooked waste into compost. It's a special bin, has a handy tap you can drain off liquid fertilizer from, and enables you to reduce even more what goes into your conventional wheelie.

The drawback is that it's a pricey addition to the keen green recycler (at £85 for these, or starter price £35), and how the government thinks it can encourage people to go green when the equipment costs an arm and a leg I don't know. Instead of increasing rubbish taxes (I mean, taxes on rubbish, although the ambiguity is fair), it should sponsor the distribution of such bins together with communal compost bins for high rise areas, and individual ones for urban areas. I don't know if communal ones would work - you know what idiots people are, especially when it comes to bins, but such initiatives should be tried.

I like the idea of the Bokashi bin. I don't particularly want to buy one in the UK and have to keep buying expensive bran so I'll investigate the possibility of finding a supplier here. We already recycle glass, paper, plastic, polystyrene and raw food. If we could also recycle cooked food and meat, our wheelie would have to look into early retirement!


  1. Lila Das Gupta's blog has improved slightly, I agree - she has discovered that what she has discovered has been going on for quite some time, and has calmed down a little!

    I'd never heard of a B bin before - I should think you could probably find them in Botanic? However I'm sure they won't be cheap there. Ot perhaps in a Gamm Vert shop where you would also be able to buy bran for pets as opposed to bran specially bagged for bins...does sawdust work?

  2. What, pray is the difference between a bokashi bucket and the traditional composting systems we have been using in our gardens for the last couple of centuries? Other than cost of course.

  3. Richard, I know you are dying to be cynical and witter about Anglo-Saxon exploitation of marketing gimmicks, but if you just googles 'bokashi' you would find out what you are looking for.

    Try this
    link to find out more. Basically, you can't put meat and fish, citrus or banana skins in a traditional compost bin. Bokashi uses an anaerobic method of breaking down the food using yeasts, bacteria and fungi.

    You don't have to buy a bucket, you could make one and even make up the bran. You should try it...

  4. I'm intrigued - I have a set of Bokashi bins and had no idea you could make up your own bran. Could you give me some idea how to go about this?

  5. Hello Elizabeth, you can find the recipe here with supplies here.

    Let us know if you manage to make your own!


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