A Bokashi bin is a type of composting that originated in Japan. It uses a special mixture of microbes to ferment or ‘pickle’ your organic waste and turn it into compost that you can dig into your garden or add to your compost bin or worm farm for futher breaking down.

Follow these easy steps to set up and use a Bokashi Bin 

1. Getting started

A bin with holes is placed inside another bin and sealed because the fermentation process needs no oxygen. Store the bins in a warm place away from the sun.

Bokashi bin.

2. What can I add?

Unlike other compost systems, Bokashi takes 100% green (nitrogen) materials. It is a way to easily compost all your food waste without worrying about collecting carbon (brown) materials. Plus you can add things that cannot go in a worm farm or compost bin. You add things like fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, cooked foods like bread and pasta, and even things like cheese, eggs, meat, fish, and small bones. Avoid liquids such as dairy, juice, oil, soups, and large meat bones.

What can I add to my Bokashi?

3. ZING!

Bokashi Zing is a mixture of bran or sawdust, molasses, and effective microorganisms (EM) that helps to ferment the organic waste in the bin. It’s a bit like a yoghurt starter, is natural and stops the bokashi from smelling by fermenting the contents. You will sprinkle the Zing on top of the food scraps. Find out more in the next step!

Bokashi Zing!

4. How to Bokashi

  1. To use Bokashi, cut your food scraps into small pieces no bigger than a golf ball and keep them in a container on your kitchen counter.
  2. Once or twice daily, put the scraps into the Bokashi bucket and push down on them to get rid of any air.
  3. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of Zing over every 6 centimetres of scraps, then close the lid tightly.
  4. Every few days, drain the liquid that collects at the bottom.
  5. The food waste will start to smell like pickles and have white mould on top, which means it’s working properly. Keep layering food scraps, squashing and adding a sprinkle of Zing until the bin is full.


5. What to do with the Liquid?

As part of the process, the bokashi will make a liquid. The amount and colour will vary depending on what you have added. Empty it every day or so and dilute it at a ratio of 1:100 (3 tablespoons to 5 litres of water). Use it as a fertiliser on your garden or for your indoor plants.

Bokashi process.

6. What to do with the Bokashi end-product

After 14 days, you will need to compost the fermented food waste further before using it. Follow these steps:

  1. Dig a trench in your garden and spread the fermented waste evenly along the trench and mix it with the soil. Cover the mixture with at least 5-8 cm of soil. If the soil is dry, add water to facilitate composting.
  2. After three to four weeks, your fermented food waste will have transformed into high-quality compost, and you can plant directly on top of it.
  3. Alternatively, you can add the solids to your compost bin or worm farm as a green layer. Simply spread it out and cover it with plenty of brown material.