Designing A Permaculture Backyard: How To Deal With Waste

One of the primary principles in permaculture is that waste is an essential unused resource. As someone who practices permaculture, your focus is on creating an agricultural ecosystem that’s sustainable and self-sufficient with zero waste. There are several ways to utilize waste around your home in your permaculture backyard. While you might have a system for utilizing your waste, there’s always room to learn from others. You can learn from other people with similar lifestyles by observing and asking questions on how to deal with waste and utilize it in a permaculture backyard.

Another common practice you might consider is recycling waste. While there’s no doubt you recycle waste around your home, a permaculture backyard also allows you to consider recycling leaves and grass clippings

Here are a few other waste options you can implement around your backyard, and here’s a guide on how to deal with it:

  • Categorizing The Waste

There are many types of waste around your home, and you can deal with each differently. One way of dealing with waste is by creating a system where you categorize each item and handle them appropriately. For instance, you can categorize your waste as organic, metals, plastic, glass, or any other waste you might have.

Organic waste matter might not be a new concept for someone who practices permaculture. One of the common ways of dealing with organic matter in permaculture is composting. Another way of dealing with organic waste is using worm bins fed with kitchen waste to make fertile soil. If the organic matter is a lot, you can also consider using it as animal feed and have it later produced as fertile waste. Further, the fertile soil from worm bins and animal waste can be used to boost the productivity of crops.

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Another category of waste that you might have is metal products. One great thing about metallic waste is that it’s easily recyclable as long as the material isn’t harmful. You can utilize metallic waste by finding alternative use, such as creating worm bins or using smaller tins like soda cans for seedlings. Nonetheless, you can prioritize reducing the use of disposable metallic items to avoid having waste that can’t be used. One way of limiting metal cans is by avoiding canned meals and preparing fresh foods.

In addition, it’s common to have plastic waste around your home, which can be challenging to utilize, especially wrapping film. You can find creative ways of handling plastic wrappings, such as creating eco-bricks where you stuff them into either plastic or metallic cans and using them to construct structures around your backyard.

  • Re-Using Waste

Once you’ve established the different types of waste around your home, the next thing is finding ways to reuse it. This helps you save money on new purchases and can be immensely helpful to the environment.

You can also improve the soil quality of your backyard garden by reusing organic waste as compost. Organic waste, such as food leftovers, can be crucial to feeding the soil food web and improving its quality. Furthermore, it’s not necessary to compost all organic waste, and you can feed it directly to the soil by shredding it into smaller pieces. If you have animals such as goats and pigs, food scraps and waste such as vegetables can be an affordable meal option. Other waste, such as plastic, can also be reused in creative ways around the permaculture backyard. You should be open to being creative with the way you reuse your waste in a permaculture backyard.

  • Repurposing Items

Creating a zero-waste home means finding ways of repurposing waste around your home. You can repurpose both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste materials. However, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between repurposing and reusing or recycling items. When repurposing an item, you’ll transform it to serve another purpose. For example, you can use old storage crates for planting within your permaculture backyard.

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Additionally, a repurposing project is your opportunity to be creative and place some of your personality in your permaculture backyard. You can find stylish and unique ways of transforming biodegradable waste into planters, such as egg trays.

  • Refusing Unnecessary Items

The idea of refusing might be a cliché. Still, the best way to deal with waste is by refusing to get unnecessary items that’ll contribute to heaps of waste around your home, especially if they’re non-biodegradable. You can decide to have no plastic waste by ensuring you buy or get biodegradable items. Further, the concept of refusing unnecessary items is based on the fact that you can’t waste what you don’t have. Nevertheless, if you end up having plastic waste in your home, it can be reused, recycled, or repurposed in the permaculture backyard.


Having a permaculture backyard is a lifestyle that requires proper waste management. There are numerous ways to deal with different types of waste, such as biodegradable and non-biodegradable. The methods you choose should cater to your needs and goals in waste management. Further, an essential principle is realizing that waste can be extremely beneficial to your permaculture backyard, and you can have zero waste.

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