Bukit Gombak

Project Black Gold started at Bukit Gombak in July 2020. Since then, the compost group has come together every Sunday to make compost.

As of May 2021:

Total amount of food scraps composted-1360kg

Total amount of compost harvested-600kg

Note: Carbon materials such as sawdust, dried leaves, branches and grass were not weighed. Given that the ratio of carbon to nitrogen was 3:1 in the Bukit Gombak composts, the carbon materials would have been three times the amount of food scraps.

Back story

Most visitors would not think that a thriving community garden existed on the landscaped grounds of this condominium estate. In 2017, a group of residents got permission from their management committee to start a community garden. The only available space was a long strip of grass tucked away at the back of the estate that had become an illegal dumping ground for rubbish.

When the gardeners finally broke through the hard earth, they found all sorts of buried construction waste. The soil was the dense compacted clay typical to community gardens all over Singapore. The gardeners dug into their funds and bought a tonne of soil. And then they did it again. They soon realised it was not sustainable in the long run, and decided to experiment with making their own compost to augment soil.

After a year of sporadic compost-making, the gardeners were encouraged to see some improvement in their plants, but also knew that the quality of their compost could be better. They just didn’t know how. When one of the gardeners heard about Project Black Gold and mentioned it to the group, there was unanimous agreement that they wanted to be in the trial.

Jurong Lake Gardens

Project Black Gold started at Jurong Lake Gardens in November 2020. Since then, the compost group has come together every Saturday to make compost.

As of May 2021:

Total amount of food scraps composted-556kg

Total amount of compostharvested-205kg


Jurong Lake Gardens was never on our radar as a possible candidate for a foodscrapping and compost-making trial. It is a 90-hectare public park managed by NParks, who for some time had been exploring ideas to introduce edible gardening and composting as a way to build kampung spirit.

The staff were confident that there would be interest in community food scrap composting amongst allotment growers and the Gardens’ volunteer communities, as well as people who live near the Gardens.

When one of NParks’ staff reached out to explore possibilities of working and learning together, we were excited to find much alignment in what we value, and how both sides felt community food scrap composting has a lot of potential to bring people together for an environmental cause, while creating a sense of community. The possibility of raising awareness on foodscrapping and composting to a wider audience was also irresistible for both teams.

After many enthusiastic discussions about where the community compost sites could be and how the community composting interactions could look like, the NParks team created a composting area in early 2020.