Think twice before you throw anything away, as rubbish can be used in farming to help grow healthy agriculture products. 'Waste materials, such as food refuse, are useful in composting which gives us safe and environmentally friendly produce,' said Rachel So Lai-man, agriculture officer of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG). To promote waste reduction and organic planting - a farming technique that avoids the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms - the Environmental Campaign Committee, Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Hong Kong Trees Conservation Association (HKTCA) organised an inter-school organic planting and garden design competition called Organic Farm in the City. Speaking at the briefing session of the contest, held last week at the KFBG, Mabel Mak, head of the Community Relations Unit of EPD, said she hoped the project would encourage students to recycle waste materials in gardening and composting, such as using unwanted plastic bottles as flower pots and decorations for scarecrows. 'We want them to learn how to reduce and reuse waste, thus understanding the importance of waste reduction and environ-mental protection,' she said. 'Students can learn and try out what organic planting is and turn their schools into green places,' added legislator and chairman of the HKTCA, Choy So-yuk. The competition is divided into two categories - primary and secondary schools. Training workshops on organic farming principles and garden design will be provided to teachers. Eve Kwong Suet-ling, a Primary Five student at Sha Tau Kok Central Primary School, plans to take part in the competition because she is interested in farming and plants. 'I grow tomatoes and chillies at home,' the 10-year-old girl said. 'I want to learn more about how it's done.' Each participating school will be given $800 to buy materials and set up a garden in Victoria Park, which will be opened to the public next April. The competition is open for applications until September 27. For details, call 2483 9787.