A home compost subsidy scheme run recently by Whakatane District Council saw unprecedented demand for composting solutions.

The scheme, which was part of the council’s efforts to reduce kerbside food waste and promote sustainable gardening, was a huge success, says Nigel Clarke, Council Manager – Solid Waste. 

“Demand for the various composting solutions was unprecedented. Four options were available to residents in Whakatāne and Murupara, including worm farms, large and small compost bins and Bokashi bench-top units. Thanks to waste-levy funding from the Ministry for the Environment, more than 700 of these units were handed out to residents at a heavily subsidised fee over seven weeks.”

Of those 700 units, there were 323 240-litre and 71 150-litre compost bins, 260 worm farms and 65 Bokashi units distributed. “This is the first time we’ve run such a scheme,” Nigel says. “Given the success and the demand for composting solutions, we hope to do it again.”

Local Sheri-Anne Meadows, who participated in the initiative, says it was great. “Even just over the weekend I have realised how much food waste we produce. I was a bit shocked to say the least.”

Fellow participant Emma Hill also found the scheme worthwhile. “We love our new compost bin,” she says.

In conjunction with the home compost subsidy scheme, Council worked with Community Resources Whakatāne to offer free workshops for residents to learn all the ins and outs of composting and worm farming.

Nationally, food waste makes up approximately 30 percent of what people put in their kerbside bins. By composting this food waste and garden waste we can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, lessen our environmental impact and be more sustainable at home and in the garden. Visit https://www.whakatane.govt.nz/services/rubbish-and-recycling/home-composting for tips on home composting tips.