Sustainable Kaipara is now collecting food scraps, paper towels and compostable packaging from eleven local businesses in Mangawhai for composting at the Mangawhai Community Composting service.
The Mangawhai Community Compost also collects weekly food scraps from 50 households. For almost 18 months Sustainable Kaipara has been running a community compost at the Mangawhai Community Garden. The food, packaging and paper towels collected each week are turned into nutrient dense compost, half of which goes back to the community garden to grow food and half of which gets sold to the community. During this time, they have diverted 160,000kgs of organic waste from landfill and created 16,000L of compost.
Steph Gibson, Sustainable Kaipara Compost Manager said “the amazing thing about community composting is the opportunity to return much needed nutrients to our soils locally, rather than sending it to other districts for large scale composting. It also provides local jobs, and helps grow really great vegetables for those in need”.
Almost half of the waste households send to landfill each week is food scraps or organic waste. This rots in landfill creating methane, which is a greenhouse gas more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. “It just makes absolute sense to get organic waste out of our landfills! If we’re serious about stopping the Dome Valley landfill, then let’s start by reducing how much we send them, while creating compost which our soils desperately need” Steph explained.
Through their Closing the Loop programme, Sustainable Kaipara visits businesses to undertake a waste assessment and help them look at solutions to minimise waste. Programme Manager, Sarah Bray said “this programme gives us the chance to understand what solutions are needed by a business and we’ve been able to offer a new local solution for paper towels, compostable packaging and food scraps which is great. We are really grateful for the support and passion that local businesses have for minimising their waste”.
Sustainable Kaipara is a community organisation dedicated to improving and restoring Kaipara’s environment. They are supported by the Ministry for the Environment and the Kaipara District Council. Their work currently focuses on closing the loop on resources by supporting waste diversion and composting. Get in touch if you need support to reduce waste or if you’d like to join the community compost service (for Mangawhai townships only at the moment). email@example.com