Council encourages home composting

Each year Hurunui households throw out tonnes of kitchen leftovers – much of it potentially reusable – as garden compost.

That’s why the Hurunui District Council is now encouraging home composting of kitchen and food scraps as an alternative to growing our waste mountain.

All schools in the district have been offered containers and Bokashi, a special composting agent, FREE, to promote the recycling of food waste to Hurunui’s principal waste producers of the future

Because a significant proportion of what is ending up in landfill comes from organic waste, that’s the likes of garden waste and kitchen leftovers, Mayor Winton Dalley says it makes sense to find new and better ways of disposing of it.

“Sending it to landfill uses valuable space and helps produce greenhouse gasses which damages the environment for future generations, when it could easily be composted.”

He says providing composting kits to schools is all about encouraging pupils to learn about the benefits of home composting while also providing a way for them to dispose of their lunch leftovers in a positive way.

Almost all schools have joined the scheme and received their kits. A workshop was recently held at Amberley School and further ones are being organised.

Hurunui Waste Manager, Sally Cracknell, says the Bokashi system enables the organic waste – like vegetable peelings, teabags, eggshells, and other food scraps and leftovers, including meat – to be recycled without using an outdoor compost bin.

“It takes about six weeks, is odourless, and does not attract insects, mice or rats. The liquid and composted material is excellent for the garden.”

Bokashi is made from Effective Microorganisms (EM), molasses and plant based material, such as sawdust, rice bran or wheat bran, and is 100% natural.

Specially adapted 140 litre bokashi bins are also available for businesses, schools and restaurants producing over 20 litres of food waste a day to recycle their scraps.

Residents can also purchase discounted kits through the council website.

The ‘bokashi for schools’ scheme is just one of a number of initiatives supported by the Council which has seen nearly 3,000 tonnes of waste material destined for landfill recycled over the past two and a half years.

This includes: 875 tonnes of old glass jars and bottles collected through the district transfer stations and from the Hanmer Springs kerbside collections which has been crushed for use in road construction; the recycling of over 900 tonnes of ‘dry waste’ from the transfer stations, much of it into gypsum and boiler fuel; around thirteen tonnes of green ‘garden’ waste a month from our transfer stations is shredded and utilised as a bulking agent in the composting of nappies, incontinence and sanitary items; and several tonnes of plastic containers and drums used to store pesticides and agricultural chemicals have also been shredded and recycled into protective covers for electrical cables.

For further information contact:

Sally Cracknell

Waste Manager

Hurunui District Council

P: 3140055