Peo­ple urged to dive into com­post­ing

Manukau Courier - - LEGAL SERVICES - CHRIS HARROWELL

Com­post­ing can halve the amount of rub­bish fam­i­lies throw out each week, ac­cord­ing to an ex­pert.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s Com­post Col­lec­tive ed­u­cates the pub­lic about how to re­duce food and gar­den waste.

It’s run­ning 11 free two-hour in­tro­duc­tory com­post­ing work­shops for peo­ple in South Auck­land un­til Novem­ber 25.

Com­post­ing in­volves cre­at­ing nu­tri­ent-rich ma­te­rial to boost soil pro­duc­tiv­ity us­ing food and gar­den waste which is mixed with wa­ter and sun­light.

Fa­cil­i­ta­tor Therese Man­gos says the sessions cover the ba­sics such as tra­di­tional com­post bins, Ja­panese bokashi units, and worm farms.

They teach peo­ple sim­ple and af­ford­able ways of get­ting into com­post­ing, she says.

‘‘Com­post­ing is at the bottom of the waste hi­er­ar­chy. It’s about not cre­at­ing waste in the first place by not buy­ing it [items that be­come waste].

‘‘Peo­ple can make choices. They can think about what they’re buy­ing and how they look after food so they don’t cre­ate lots of left­overs, store food so it doesn’t go off, look at best-be­fore dates, and be cre­ative with left­overs.’’

Man­gos says about half of what most peo­ple throw out with their house­hold rub­bish each week is or­ganic waste that can be used in com­post.

The av­er­age Kiwi fam­ily throws out about $560 of food each year, and the most dis­carded item is bread, she says. ‘‘We can save peo­ple money if they plan their shop­ping to re­duce their waste, and you can’t put a price on peo­ple’s health.

‘‘This links in to the new [coun­cil wheelie] rub­bish bins be­ing in­tro­duced in Septem­ber.

‘‘If we can get house­holds com­post­ing we can halve their rub­bish.’’

Man­gos says a com­post heap can serve as the ‘‘en­gine room’’ of a gar­den.

‘‘Once peo­ple start do­ing it they will see things in the wider com­mu­nity that can be com­posted, such as cof­fee grounds from shops, and dried leaves are a great source of carbon.

‘‘I keep a rake in my car boot at all times.’’

Go to com­post­col­lec­tive.org.nz for a cal­en­dar of up­com­ing work­shops in South Auck­land and to reg­is­ter for one.

Peo­ple who reg­is­ter and then take part in a work­shop will re­ceive a $40 dis­count on a com­post­ing sys­tem.

CHRIS HARROWELL

Com­post Col­lec­tive fa­cil­i­ta­tor Therese Man­gos en­cour­ages peo­ple to learn how to use com­post­ing to re­duce their house­hold waste.

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