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The Bokashi system allows you to break down food waste, so it can be added to a typical garden composter.

Published 19/10/2018

The Bokashi Bin (also known as the Kitchen Composter) is a unique product that allows you to compost all your kitchen waste including cooked and raw meat, fish and dairy products as well as any other organic material.

With regular composting, you can compost some kitchen waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds as well as your garden waste but when it comes to leftovers or meat and fish bones you are more restricted. That’s where the Bokashi Bin comes in!

Bokashi means ‘fermented organic matter’ in Japanese and was developed by Professor Teruo Higa at the University of Ryukyus Okinawa. He found that the work he was doing to improve soil fertility could also be applied to composting.

Bokashi comes in the form of a bran/molasses mix which is infused with beneficial bacteria, yeasts and fungi. This mixture works together to speed up composting, suppress pathogens, prevents putrefaction and eliminates bad smells.

The tray was full of compost but as I started to dig into it, it was clear that it was made up of good compost but a lot of partially broken down toilet roll holders too.

The bin has an 18-litre capacity so is the perfect size to store plenty of waste whilst not being out of place in your kitchen or utility room. The lid is air-tight as you need to achieve an anaerobic environment (no air) rather than the usual aerobic composting process which requires air.

Simply fill the bin with waste and each time you put waste in, add a handful of bran. Once full, the bin should be left to do its work for a couple of weeks. You should not open the bin during this time as this will allow air to get into the mix so no matter how curious you become – leave it closed! For this reason, we recommend you buy the Twin Pack so that you have an uninterrupted process – while one bin is pickling, you can keep adding to the other.

A common misconception is that the waste will turn into compost during those two weeks while it is locked away under the air-tight lid. What actually happens is that for the most part the waste maintains its appearance while the makeup of the material is altered. Once it has finished this process, the contents of your Bokashi Bin can either be buried in the ground (where they will break down quickly into the soil) or added to your regular compost bin (where it will join the rest of the waste to transform into lovely compost). You will also find that it helps to speed up the composting process for the rest of your bin, which is a boon!

The Bokashi Bin also has a sump and a tap. This is because liquid is produced and needs to be drained from the bin. Incredibly, the liquid is also a rather wonderful by-product which can be used in two ways:

  • Plant feed – The liquid is alive with beneficial microbes and as such, is a great plant feed once diluted.
  • Drain cleaner – The micro-organisms help to prevent algae build-up and control odours so the concentrated liquid can be poured directly into your sinks, toilets and drains.

All in all, this is a great system for both those with a garden who are already composting and those with limited garden space.

At binsdirect.com we sell Bokashi Bins in a twin pack meaning you'll never run out of space as you can leave one to ferment while filling another. The twin pack includes 3-4 months worth of bran to get you started!

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