Derived from our research project literature review…
Community gardens can alleviate some pressure off civil services like waste and stormwater management. When community gardens have efficient composting systems for the community, this can significantly reduce the volume of greenhouse gas emitting rubbish collected by waste management. On top of that, the food scraps get turned into healthy soil for the garden. And depending on the size of the garden, all the permeable surfaces can absorb a lot of rainwater and divert it from going into the municipal stormwater system.
The amounts of kitchen waste collected and processed by community gardens can be relatively easy to measure and through surveys it’s possible to understand measures such as how people drop off compost, by what transport medium and how far they come and how long it takes them to drop off their waste.
For stormwater management measures of permeable surface areas and rainwater collected help determine the offset provided by a community garden.
It’s really insightful to understand what motivates people to engage with a community garden to drop off compost waste. Surveys are always useful for this purpose. Look to Innermost Gardens approach to surveys on this site.
- Beilin, R., & Hunter, A. (2011). Co-constructing the sustainable city: How indicators help us “grow” more than just food in community gardens. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 523-538.
To explore these impacts areas and measures in more detail look to the full Literature Review report further on this site.