Kai to Compost Serves 'Green-minded' Chef

14 May 2013

A respected local chef knows the best way to dispose of food waste is the green way – using our Kai to Compost service.

Edmond Weicherding in the Chameleon Restaurant kitchen.

Kai to Compost takes food waste from restaurants and turns it into compost


Edmond Weicherding, Executive Chef at the InterContinental Hotel’s Chameleon Restaurant, has a reputation for using, and being a champion for, sustainable and organic food. He has even run promotions where the restaurant has offered menus that are completely sustainable.

“I always have been green. I compost at home, I grow my own vegetables and herbs,” says Edmond. “I think a lot of chefs are becoming more green-minded. There are a lot more sustainable products on the market now and those companies are growing.”

Edmond has taken his ‘green ways’ in the kitchen one step further by using the Council’s Kai to Compost service.

Kai to Compost is a food waste collection service for medium to large organic waste producers in Wellington City – restaurants, cafés and the like. Our aim is to minimise food waste in landfills by turning it into quality compost.

Customers are given either 80, 120 or 240-litre wheelie bins. They put their food scraps and leftovers into these bins, which are emptied on scheduled collection days.

“For me the biggest benefit is the reduction of waste. There is a lot of waste in a kitchen all the time, and if it isn’t composted it just goes into the rubbish bin,” says Edmond.

Kai to Compost has meant he has cut down on both the frequency and volume of his rubbish collection – from a large skip bin three times a week to a small skip twice a week. It has also helped him focus on what is actually being wasted.

“All the rubbish went in the skip bin and it’s sometimes hard to see what food you’re wasting. But now you know very well what goes into the bin. The Kai to Compost concept supports our Green Engage sustainability programme, which covers the whole hotel.”

The Kai to Compost service is inexpensive, starting at just $7.50 for one bin to be collected. There is a monthly administration fee of $5 for the first bin and any extra bins are only $3.

Edmond says with more chefs becoming ‘green-minded’ he hopes that more of his Wellington peers will take up the service.

“It’s a shame if people don’t do it and they just throw everything in the rubbish. It’s so easy to do it this other way. There’s no work involved – you just receive a bin, you put it in your kitchen and it gets taken away. It can’t be simpler than that. It’s a no-brainer.”

If your business would like to use the Kai to Compost service, please phone Meagan Miller on 383 4442, email kai.to.compost@wcc.govt.nz, or see: 

Kai to Compost