Compost scheme on track
Plimmerton’s contribution to the landfill will plunge over the next five weeks, with 90 residents signed up to a free composting trial run by businesswoman Leanne Pelabon.
Ms Pelabon is trying to get a large-scale composting business, Choice Composting, up and running on Broken Hill Rd, near Spicer Landfill. To test the idea and prove the concept to potential investors, she is running a six-week trial in Plimmerton, with Mana Recovery on board to collect residents’ compost once a week.
The food and meat scraps are taken to Te Rito Organics in the Porirua Hospital grounds, where they are mixed with brown waste, such as leaves and grass clippings, and turned into compost.
One advantage of Ms Pelabon’s scheme is odourfree composting: trial participants have been given a kitchen-top bin and a supply of breathable biodegradable bags, which Ms Pelabon says cover even the smell of bones and meat.
Once the trial is finished, Ms Pelabon hopes to convince investors on board and secure funding, including from Porirua City Council, to establish a collection service feeding into a third of a hectare site near the landfill. Compost would then be sold, half the net profits being donated to Te Rito, the eco philosophy of which aligns with her own, Ms Pelabon says.
‘‘They need quality compost to grow their food in and we need to capture the community’s organic waste in order to close the loop and create a sustainable food management cycle for the people of Porirua,’’ she says. ‘‘I just wanted to put my money where my mouth was.’’
St Theresa’s School in Plimmerton has signed up to the scheme, with children composting fruit peelings and even unwanted lunches.
St Theresa’s has a vege garden, so pupils know all about the benefits of compost. Pupil Lachlan Woodsmith, however, says he can’t contribute much to the scheme because he doesn’t like fruit.
For more information about the composting scheme, contact Leanne Pelabon on 021 244 4617.
Compost kids: Plimmerton’s St Theresa’s School pupils are among those trialling a compost collection scheme for the city. From left, Regan Mallon, 9, Lachlan Woodsmith, 11, Choice Composting owner Leanne Pelabon, Ella Ward, 10, and Sarah King, 9.