Community composting hubs trial

We're investigating options for community composting in Wellington.

The community composting hubs trial is part of council’s commitment to investigate options for diverting food waste from landfill. ‘Community composting’ is defined as small composting sites, which operate at the neighbourhood or community scale with the support of local households.

Food waste makes up about a third of the region’s kerbside waste, on average. Composting reduces the production of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) from landfill and retains valuable soil nutrients. When we compost as a community, we also support social connections and community resilience, more sustainable and regenerative local food systems, and opportunities for household composting education.

Interest in community composting is growing in New Zealand but there are few initiatives in Wellington. In many cases, our District Plan requires community composting initiatives to have a resource consent. We are supporting six groups to obtain the necessary permits to set up community composting hubs. The aim is to explore conditions that encourage safe, effective, and ecologically responsible composting by communities and households.

Where are the hubs located?

How can I drop off my food scraps?

Have a look at the list of hubs to see what’s happening in your area. Some hubs will take scraps from households in their area, but others are being run for specific communities. Before you go to drop off scraps, please be aware that bins may be locked to manage what’s going in and ensure quality compost is coming out.

How is council supporting the hubs?

Hubs can be new or existing initiatives and are being supported to provide free composting services for their community. This support includes:

  • Help to obtain the necessary permission or resource consent.
  • Funding to a maximum of $4000 for tools and materials to set up the hub.
  • Wages for a hub manager, working two hours a week on average.
  • Wages for a mentor to support the manager for an average of four hours a month.
  • Access to the Living Compost Hubs app to help manage and monitor what’s going into the compost and how much compost is being produced.

What do the hubs have to do?

Hubs must:

  • Record compost inputs and outputs, compost quality, pest control and any problems.
  • Manage rats by securing their bins (e.g. with fine-mesh wire netting and lids) and using traps.
  • Meet the requirements of a composting site, as set out in the Greater Wellington Regional Council's Natural Resources Plan
  • Provide at least three composting education and information sessions for their community.
  • Provide a final report to the council.
  • In most cases, hubs must also limit participant numbers to 50 households.

What if there’s no composting hub near me?

If you don't have a composting hub nearby, you can compost in other ways:

  • Find out more about options for composting at home on our learn about composting page. If space is an issue, you could try bokashi or a worm farm. Neighbours and friends might be keen to take your finished compost if you don’t have a garden.
  • If you need help setting up your compost, contact our waste team. Our waste educators will also visit your community group or workplace to deliver sessions on composting and reducing food waste. Email
  • Find out ways to reduce your food waste on the Love Food Hate Waste website or the Waste-Ed with Kate website.
  • The ShareWaste website connects those wanting to donate food scraps and green waste with composters accepting them.
  • The Why Waste website offers worm farm subscription services.

Contact us

Connected Communities team