Health service works with Council to establish sustainable practice

Wellington Shire Council has been working with Central Gippsland Health to establish worm farms to compost food waste from its Sale campuses.

Local gardening identity Morris Holmes, who is also a resident of the Wilson Lodge nursing home, has been instrumental in working with Council to not only establish but also maintain the worm farms.

Morris Holmes is a local gardening identity, owning and operating his own nursery in Sale for many years and also hosting his own regular radio gardening segment on 3GI radio (now ABC Gippsland).

These days Mr Holmes is a resident of Wilson Lodge, but his enthusiasm for gardening and sustainable practices has not waned.

Council’s Sustainability Education Officer Raquel Harris has been working with CGH’s Health Promotion Officer Gemma Paton to find sustainable alternatives to dispose of food waste from the Sale hospital and nursing home.

“Central Gippsland Health generates around 5kg per day of mixed food scraps and around 1,000 egg shells per week,” Ms Harris said.

“While not all of the 5kg of mixed fresh food scraps would be suitable for composting or worm farming, if we can divert some of that daily waste from landfill in a sustainable manner, that will make a big impact on greenhouse gasses from food decomposition in landfill.

“Egg shells are also very good for composting.”

Two large compost/worm farms have been established at Wilson Lodge, with a plan to increase that as the trial continues.

“We established these worm farms in September 2019 and Morris has been taking care of them ever since,” Ms Harris said.

“It’s fantastic to have Morris’ enthusiasm and dedication to ensure the worm farms are successful and he is also teaching other nursing home residents about them.”

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