CETDEM’s Community Compost Making #2: Waste Collection

This is the second of a multi-part series as we follow the CETDEM Community Composting Group through the steps of creating their compost heap from scratch. Part one (the Introduction) can be read here.

The Ingredients

There are many variations as to what one can put into the compost heap, therefore the list provided here by CETDEM’s Organic Farming Coordinator Mdm Tan is not definitive.

  1. Sugar cane residue (6 bags)
  2. Chicken dung (1 bag)
  3. Soil (1/2 bag)
  4. Rice bran (1/3 bag, optional, can be bought)
  5. Soya bean waste (1 bag, optional)
  6. Fresh weeds or tree leaves (8 compacted bags)
  7. Dried leaves/grass from the padang/garden -avoid nangka, mango and mangosteen leaves (8 bags, make sure that it is not wet)
  8. Jackfruit, banana , pineapple skin peels (3 -4 bags or whatever we can get)
  9. Sweet corn husks (2 bags or whatever we can get)

The following pictures show some of the waste collected (click on pictures to view gallery):

Collecting Waste in the Market

For this, we went to the SS2 market to collect whatever waste that we could. The Composting Group had coordinated beforehand to obtain items such as soybean waste and sugar cane residue from their contacts. Bags of dry leaves swept up by DBKL/DBPJ road cleaners were collected as well.

We arrived at the market around 8:30am and walked around to find organic waste as stipulated by Mdm Tan’s ingredient list. Mdm Tan had done this many times before and knew exactly where to get the waste, and wove through the market so quickly that it was difficult to keep up with her. The first round done at the market was to determine the types of waste available, and to reserve them in certain cases, in case the stall keepers discarded them before the market closed. The group then had breakfast to wait for more waste to accumulate as more people visited the market.

Traffic around the SS2 market was congested, and parking was difficult to find, therefore one of the members of the group was in charge of driving his truck to a meeting point while others did the collection.

The trip to the market was very fruitful as the group managed to collect a lot of items on the list, to bring back to the CETDEM Organic Farming Community Centre at SS19. The whole process of waste collection took less than an hour if we exclude the time having breakfast. The next step however would be the most interesting step: the building of the compost heap itself.


The CETDEM Community Composting Group is organised by CETDEM’s Organic Farming Coordinator, Mdm Tan Siew Luang, who has decades of experience in organic farming. Those interested to participate or organise a group themselves can contact her directly at of@cetdem.org.my.

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