Call to support Hout Bay compost project

Siphokuhle Mhlahlo encourages people to drop off their organic waste to keep it out of landfills and instead feed the soil in the valley. Picture: Karen Watkins.

A community composting group, Circle of Life, is helping to grow organic veggies and keep kitchen waste within the valley.

Speaking from the composting site at Love in a Bowl across from Hout Bay graveyard, volunteer Rikka Trangsrud said they are supporting the country’s drive to divert organic kitchen waste from landfill sites.

Siphokuhle Mhlahlo, of Imizamo Yethu, is employed by the non-profit Circle of Life to manage the compost initiative that started last year.

He described how the kitchen waste is collected in wooden storage bins where manure from the nearby stables, leaves and grass cuttings are added in layers.

After two weeks, the compost is turned, and two weeks later, it is ready to enrich the soil used to grow vegetables.

Mr Mhlahlo encourages people to drop off their kitchen waste, but not cooked food, at the facility. People can collect a household bin of various sizes or buy an orange wheelie bin for housing estates, restaurants and schools from the Love in a Bowl site.

Love in a Bowl, a non-profit organisation, employs and trains local people to grow organic veggies to supply 28 early childhood development centres in Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg.

Founder Tjarla Norton encourages people to visit the Love in a Bowl farmer’s market every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 2pm to drop off their kitchen waste and buy organically grown seasonal vegetables, juices, free-range eggs, home-made bread, honey and sauces.

Ms Transgrud said about 40% of all waste delivered to landfill in the province was organic: some 3-million tons every year, and it produced methane, which did more to add to global warming than carbon dioxide.

Another volunteer, Linda Schmiedeke, said organic waste not only took up landfill space it also produced toxic leachate that contaminated ground water.

City spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo encouraged residents to support the initiative as it helped to cut carbon emissions from rotting organic waste in landfills.

Mr Tyhalibongo said there was a continuing demand for home composting in the city and since 2016, more than 22 000 households had received composters.

“We are currently seeing over 42% diversion of garden waste and other major organic waste streams, such as sewage sludge from landfill,” he said.

Contact Circle of Life at, or 076 924 8728.

Linda Schmiedeke, left, and Rikka Trangsrud say kitchen waste can be collected in organic bags and dropped off at Love in a Bowl. Picture: Karen Watkins.
Some of the composting volunteers, from left, are Tammy Muter, Rikka Trangsrud, Siphokuhle Mhlahlo, Tjarla Norton and Linda Schmiedeke. Picture: Karen Watkins.
Love in a Bowl founder Tjarla Norton with one of the stickers from a home composting bin. Picture: Karen Watkins.