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