Composting

Composting your food and garden waste helps to preserve and protect the environment.

Waste education

Learn from the Council's Waste Education Officers how to minimise your waste. Find out more about these free opportunities and resources: Waste Education.

Home compost bin built out of recycled pallets

Home compost bin made from recycled pallets from the Southern Landfill

Composting helps to reduce the:

  • amount of rubbish you throw away
  • amount of waste going to landfills
  • production of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) in landfills
  • production of hazardous substances from landfills.

What to compost

A range of organic materials including vegetable and fruit scraps, lawn and tree clippings can be composted.

The Council estimates that if 50,000 of Wellington’s 68,000 dwellings composted two kilograms of food and/or garden waste per week, up to 5,200 tonnes of waste would be diverted from landfills annually.

Check our home composting guide (47KB PDF) for more information on how you can turn your organic waste into nutrient rich soil.

For more information on keeping rats and other predators out of your compost, check out the handy guide below.

Rat-free compost information sheet – Sustainability Trust

Watch Darren, Landfill Operations Manager, build a compost bin and worm farm using pallets below.

Compost bin alternatives

Alternatives to using a compost bin include compost heaps, worm farms and micro-organism (EM) composting.

  • Compost heaps - Compost heaps are ideal if you produce a lot garden waste and compost bins are not a practical option. You can build your own compost setup out of untreated timber or bricks.
  • Worm farms - Adding worm casts or worm tea to the soil promotes soil fertility, moisture retention, and encourages plant growth.
  • EM composting - EM is a bran-based material that has been seeded with "Effective Micro-organisms" and dried to make storage easy. The composting process is completed by burying your fermented food scraps in the garden.