To help make Kensington a more sustainable suburb, we are connecting with the community to create the first composting hub in our municipality at the Kensington Town Hall, and a new communal food growing space at the Newmarket Saleyards.

The Kensington community is passionate about diverting food waste. Tapping into that enthusiasm is key to the success of this project. The communal garden is a response to requests from local families wanting to grow food closer to where they live. The project will test a new model of community food waste diversion and communal food growing for City of Melbourne.

After the EOI process has been completed and participants have been notified, we will form two working groups to co-design the Kensington Composting Hub and create the Newmarket Saleyards Food Garden:

The composting hub working group
This group will research and select appropriate methods for the composting hub at the Kensington Town Hall and devise a plan for its ongoing management, including end use of the finished compost and the possibility of a small food growing area on site.

Members of this group will need to be available on the following dates for collaborative planning sessions:

  • Sunday 25 February 10am-12pm
  • Saturday 7 April 1pm-3pm
  • Saturday 21 April 1pm-3pm

The food garden working group
This group will discuss and decide on the vision and objectives, management strategy and name of the new food garden to be located in the Newmarket Saleyards.

Members will need to be available on the following days for collaborative planning sessions:

  • Sunday 25 February 10am-12pm
  • Saturday 7 April 10am-12pm
  • Saturday 21 April 10am-12pm

The working groups will be selected by one representative from the City of Melbourne and one representative from 3000 Acres, based on the following criteria:

  • The working group members must be a City of Melbourne resident, with preference given to Kensington residents
  • The working group members must be intending to be involved with the project after the development phase
  • Applicants with experience relevant to the topic will be given priority
  • Applicants with a community-minded vision for the garden/composting hub will be given priority

Please note applicants may only participate in one of the working groups.

  • When households across Melbourne dispose of their food waste in their garbage bin it ends up in landfill.
  • As food waste breaks down in a landfill, it produces greenhouse gases, such as methane.
  • An estimated 250,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste sent to landfill each year from Victorian households has the potential to generate up to 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (C02e) per year (Sustainability Victoria 2014).
  • Wasting food also has a significant impact on precious, finite resources used to grow our food (water, soils and energy) along with the energy to process, package and transport food.
  • Reducing food waste sent to landfill will reduce the impact on the environment, public health and amenity.
  • By growing some of their own food, individuals and families have access to fresh, nutritious food and the mixed meals that support nutritional health.
  • Because it involves physical activity, communal gardening promotes physical fitness and health.
  • Gardens are used for community education such as waste minimisation and the recycling of wastes through composting and mulching.
  • Learning to grow plants is mentally stimulating and adds to an individual's knowledge and expertise.
  • Communal gardening is a social activity involving shared decision making, problem solving and negotiation, increasing these skills among gardeners.
  • Food gardens re-green vacant spaces and bring biodiversity to public open space and other areas, making them a useful tool for urban improvement.