News | 11 March 2022

Friday Five: Why you should get into composting!

Did you know the average Wellington household disposes of 3.2kg of food waste per week? This adds up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste going to landfill per year, or the same weight as 62 jumbo jets! Either way you look at it – that’s a lot of waste that could be diverted and made into something useful, like compost! Here's some reasons why you should give composting a go.

A large compost bin made from wooden palates with tomatoes and other scraps inside, surrounded by tall grass.

1. Save yourself some money
After the initial set-up costs, maintaining a compost bin only costs your time.

By composting your food waste, you will also be sending an average of 34 percent less to landfill so you can save by putting your yellow bags out less frequently or downsizing to a smaller bin.

If you are a gardener, you will also save money on compost and fertiliser!

2. Learn about the science behind your food
Remember how much fun science experiments were in school? Having a compost bin can be a bit like that. To make compost you need a good balance of greens (high in nitrogen), browns (high in carbon), water and air.

Tinkering with your compost set-up can be a fun thing to do both for adults and younger ones. Watching your food scraps and other waste turn into compost so rapidly seems magic at first! If you are feeling a bit lost we have this handy Home Compost Guide to help you set up your compost and troubleshoot any problems.

A standing person's hand holding the metal handle of a small green plastic bucket filled with food scraps including mushrooms and citrus peel.

3. You don’t have to start with ‘gourmet’ compost
Compost only needs to be as good quality as you want it to be. Don’t get too intimidated to start – everyone starts somewhere.

Waste Minimisation Officer Joanna Langford uses coffee as an analogy to describe the quality of compost.

You may just start off with ‘instant coffee’ compost – basic, but gets the job done.  If you get more into composting and want to perfect your compost, you might make ‘barista’ compost.

4. Reduce your negative environmental impact
Composting has many environmental benefits!

As we know, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is important to minimalise the effects of climate change. Composting your food waste creates significantly less GHG emissions than sending your waste to landfill.

The compost you produce has endless benefits including increased water retention, improving soil quality, and promoting healthier plant growth. You can read more about the environmental benefits of compost here!

5. Get out into nature – it’s good for you!
Establishing and maintaining a compost is a great excuse to get outdoors. Throw on some gumboots and old clothes to enjoy the beauty in your own backyard!

Watch out each Friday for a fun list of five great activities to do, places to explore, or things to discover in our awesome city.