Bokashi bucket system

Bokashi was developed in Japan and literally means ‘ fermented organic matter’. A fermented wheat-bran mixture called Compost-Zing is used in a bucket system where food is literally pickled. The final product has a slight sweet/sour smell.

The System

The Bokashi two-bucket system consists of a few simple elements. Two buckets are required, with one nested on top of the other. The top bucket has a tight-fitting lid and holes in its base to drain to the lower bucket. In addition, there is a bag of Compost-Zing made from wheat-bran and untreated sawdust that has been mixed with molasses and water and effective micro-organisms.

You can make your own system as long as it is airtight. Old Paint buckets that have been cleaned out work. Drill holes in the base of the top bucket and sit inside the other one. A good seal is very important.

The benefits

The benefit of this system is that you can add products such as meat and fish, which are discouraged in the usual compost due to vermin and odours.

It produces a compost product within 2-4 weeks after being buried rather than 3 or more months in a compost pile. No space is required as fermentation takes place in the bucket, which makes it ideal for small houses, apartments and schools.

Buckets can be kept indoors as the smell is inoffensive. It keeps food waste out of the landfill and it is good for your plants adding beneficial vitamins to the soil.

Check out our handy guide  (2.3MB PDF)for how to set up and use a Bokashi system.


For Bokashi stockists, refer to the Council's subsidy coupon. Download the composting subsidy voucher or call the Council on +64 3 546 0200.