Garbage to Garden Composting Project for Shah Alam Residents Association

January 15th 2017, Shah Alam -- The ‘Garbage to Garden’ Composting Project was recently held at Persatuan Penduduk Seksyen 8 Shah Alam in Selangor. The 2 hour workshop presented by Mr Syamim, Mr.  Ashaari Rahmat, and Mr. Emirul Redzuan attracted 45 participants who were residents of Seksyen 8 Shah Alam.  The project organized by EcoKnights in collaboration with SHELL aims to:

  1. Inform the public the benefits of composting to the environment,
  2. Explain how composting can indirectly reduce living costs,
  3. Educate and encourage the public to share the importance of composting with their families and friends,
  4. Teach the public how to get started with composting, and
  5. Explain generic information about urban farming.

Picture above: Mr Syamim is giving out his presentationPicture above: Mr Syamim is giving out his presentation

 

Basic knowledge and information regarding composting was presented during the first 30 minutes through slides to give a clearer idea of backyard composting to the participants. They were all very passionate to know more about composting. Some of them asked questions on how to do composting in apartments or non-landed properties. The composting project highlighted only the backyard bin composting as other types of composting will need special bins and also specific ways to manage it. For beginners, the backyard composting bin is the best tool to start with. Apart from that, garden waste, good texture of soil, and a stirring stick would be great for composting.

Next, the demonstration was carried out.  Mr Syamim, assisted by Mr Emirul showed to the participants on how to do composting using the real size of compost bin. Grass, fruit peels, dried leaves and shredded used paper were used to do the demonstration.  This practical approach helped the participants understand more about composting and familiarise themselves with the composting process.  They followed the instructions given to make certain that the amount and ratio of materials used were right.

Picture above: Some of participants listening to workshop given Picture above: Some of participants listening to workshop given

 

The first material that should be on the first layer was a thin layer of soil. The soil acts as a neutraliser as rotten organic substance might produce unpleasant smell. Carbon which can be found in fruit peels, garden waste like grass and leaves was placed after the thin layer of soil. Nitrogen components which abundant in fruits were placed right after the carbon layer. The cycle was repeated until the plastic cup is full. The participants seemed to be fast learners and did it successfully. They were allowed to keep their work and become their benchmark and reference as they start their full scale composting in future.

Picture 3: Mr Ashaari is delivering his talk regarding urban farming Picture 3: Mr Ashaari is delivering his talk regarding urban farming

 

The last session witnessed the compost bin giving ceremony by Mr Shaharudin, the head of Seksyen 8 Residential Area Community for the selected participants. 

Picture 4: Compost bin giving ceremony to the participantsPicture 4: Compost bin giving ceremony to the participants

 

Feedback forms and registration forms to join the project were distributed to the residents to get their opinions towards the workshop. 17 feedback forms were filled.  The first question in the feedback form was ‘Is this your first time joining a composting workshop?’ 15 participants (88.2%) answered yes while 2 participants (11.8%) answered no and had been practising composting for at least one year. 

Figure 1: Pie chart indicating question number one on the feedback formFigure 1: Pie chart indicating question number one on the feedback form

 

The second question in the feedback form required the participants to give an overall rating for the workshop in four aspects: speaker interaction, conveyance of speaker, material provided and quality of the workshop.  Participants were required to rate the workshop on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being unsatisfactory and 5 being excellent.  Two participants rated the workshop at 5 (12%), 9 participants rated the workshop at 4 (53%), and 6 participants rated the workshop at 3 (35%).

Figure 2: Pie chart showing overall rating of the workshop by participantsFigure 2: Pie chart showing overall rating of the workshop by participants

 

The third question required the participants to rate how well did the workshop meet their expectations or objectives on the same scale of 1 to 5.  2 participants chose the scale 5, 10 participants chose the scale 4, and 5 participants chose the scale 3.

Figure 3: Pie Chart showing results of the 3rd question in the feedback formFigure 3: Pie Chart showing results of the 3rd question in the feedback form

 

The fourth question in the feedback form was ‘Would you recommend this to your friends and family?’ All of the participants (100%) answered yes. The monitoring will takes place starting from the first day they collected the bin, until they have answered all four feedback forms for the next four months.

 

 

 

 

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