Learn about composting

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

Did you know that the average Wellington household disposes of 3.2kg of food per week? This adds up to 30,000 tonnes of food going to landfill per year - the same weight as 62 jumbo jets!

In a landfill, food is buried by other rubbish and crushed, which limits its exposure to sunlight, oxygen, and helpful microorganisms. In this environment, food rots rather than composts and as it breaks down it releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

What is composting

Composting is the process in which organic, matter such as leaves and food scraps, breaks down into soil.

The benefits of composting include:

  • reducing the volume of waste sent to landfill
  • saving money on rubbish fees
  • reducing methane gas emissions
  • making a valuable product for our taiao (natural environment) which can improve soil health and help plants grow.

Choosing the right composting system

There are lots of different composting systems available. The best one for your household, community group or business will depend on the amount of food scraps you create and available space.

Use the flowchart below to help choose the right system for you.

Composting alternatives in Wellington

If the above systems aren’t right for your living arrangements, there are organisations in Wellington who can help:

  • ShareWaste connects those wanting to donate food scraps and green waste with composters accepting them
  • Kaicycle provides a food scraps collection service to Wellington city centre and some central suburbs
  • Why Waste offers worm farm subscription services

Contact us

If you need help setting up your compost or have a question, ask our team. You can contact us at waste.education@wcc.govt.nz