Learn about 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.


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.

What can be composted

The following items can go in your compost bin:

  • vegetable and fruit scraps
  • cooked meat scraps
  • cooked bones - small to medium in size
  • shells - oyster, mussel, clam, crab, egg
  • breads and baking products
  • cheeses, desserts and cream
  • coffee grounds and filters
  • nuts and cereals

  • pasta and rice
  • tea bags and tea leaves
  • flowers, plants and green waste
  • unbleached paper hand towels and serviettes
  • compostable packaging made from unlined paper and 
  • cardboard, potato starch, sugarcane or bagasse, 
  • soft/thin bamboo, vegetable wax coated paper

Unsuitable for compost bins

  • large cooked bones
  • raw bones of any size
  • raw meat / fish
  • oils, liquid waste
  • oil-based plastics and some biodegradable 
  • plastics - check with us first

  • cigarette butts
  • cleaning products, eg bleach, soaps
  • cloth / material, eg tea towels
  • general rubbish and recycling
  • PLA or corn starch products

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

Build a compost bin

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