Composting media release 20/01

Turn over a new leaf

How Auckland Council helps you start composting

Published: Tuesday 21 January 2020

Summer is a great time to start your home composting routine. If food waste were a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases. Each year, Aucklanders put about 100,000 tonnes of food waste into their rubbish bins.

“Diverting food from landfill is one of the single biggest climate change interventions an individual can make.” Councillor Richard Hills, chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, reminds us.

Come along to one of the Compost Collective’s free hands-on courses, sponsored by Auckland Council, for an introduction to the basics of composting - including Bokashi composting, worm farming and cold composting.

Last year, more than six thousand households attended one of the 417 free workshops across the Auckland region, supported by Auckland Council. The Compost Collective estimates that those participants then diverted 493 tonnes of food waste from landfill.

Choose the method that’s best for you

Worm bins are a great choice for a simple outdoor bin. They can eat their weight each day, but you have to avoid overfeeding them. The worms will eat their preferred food first but like to have some variety.

Compost is made by mixing ordinary food and garden waste with a little water and plenty of sunlight and air. They require a bit more attention to stir the top layers, avoid mixing them with the bottom layers, and keeping it slightly wet like a sponge

Bokashi bins are the preferred option for people with limited outdoor space and are popular with people living in apartments. This method uses two air-tight bins and fermentation to break down all food waste, including meat and bones.

Share Waste. You can compost even if you don’t have a place to put your great new garden materials. Share Waste connects people who want additional food scraps for their own compost.

Getting to zero waste

As a nation, we waste $1.17 billion on food that we buy and then throw away uneaten. According to Love Food Hate Waste, an average family in New Zealand will throw nearly three shopping trolleys of edible food in the bin every year. That adds up to be an average of $644 per family.

Councillor Richard Hills shares his enthusiasm for composting. “It is exciting to see all the innovations taking place around Auckland to respond to the climate emergency we are in. Find the home composting method that’s best for your family and give it a go this year.”

Get more tips and tricks from Our Auckland or have a listen to the Compost Collective interview with Radio New Zealand