bokashi bin

Bokashi Composting

Bokashi is an odourless composting system that uses up left-over meat, dairy and other food scraps that you wouldn’t normally put onto the compost heap or add to the wormery. The waste is broken down by ‘EM (which stands for Effective or Efficient Microorganisms) which is incorporated in bran, that is sprinkled over the waste. The system is clean, with minimal smell, and it can be kept in the kitchen, making it very convenient. When breaking down the waste, EM secretes vitamins, organic acids, minerals, and antioxidants that beneficially affect plants, the good bacteria, and other microorganisms to create healthier soil. Ready-made re-useable bokashi buckets and bokashi bran is available from hardware/builder’s outlets. We turned an inexpensive juice dispenser into a designer bokashi bin that’s stylish enough to keep in full view on the kitchen counter.

What you need:

  • Glass juice dispenser with tap.
  • Black spray paint
  • Colour spray paint of your choice
  • Masking tape and newspaper
  • Bokashi bran

How to Make Your Bokashi Bin

  1. Mask the juice dispenser along the rim so the inside remains clear of paint, and mask the tap
  2. Spray paint the juice dispenser with the black spray paint first. This makes the container dark and allows the microorganisms to work better. Allow to dry and then paint the colour of your choice. A few coats may be necessary, allowing the paint to dry between coats. Remove the masking tape.
  3. Place the container where you will be able to use the tap. Make sure the tap is closed. This will be used later to draw off the liquid from the decomposing waste.
  4. Add your kitchen waste such as cooked and uncooked meat, fish, eggs, tea bags and even coffee grounds to the container. Small bones are okay but not large bones or too much liquid. The smaller the pieces, the faster the process. Sprinkle the bokashi bran over the waste and close the lid. For every cup of waste used one tablespoon of bran. Use more if the food waste is protein dense, such as meat, cheese and fish.
  5. Every new layer of waste is covered by a layer of bokashi bran. Always make sure the lid is tightly closed.
  6. Regularly drain the bokashi juice using the tap at the base of the container. This juice contains nutrients and microorganisms and can be used as a liquid fertiliser.
  7. Keep on layering kitchen waste and bran until the bokashi bin is full.
  8. When it is full, which may take two to three weeks, keep the lid closed and let the bucket sit for another two weeks to complete the fermentation process. At this stage you may want to invest in a second bokashi bin so that the two bins can rotate.
  9. Bury the contents in the garden or in a compost heap where it can fully break down. Bury about 30 – 40cm deep. Wash the container before using again.
The Gardener