It means a cleaner environment, reduction of cost to councils, use of green waste to make high-grade compost, more efficient home and garden maintenance, less waste going to landfills, easier handling for householders, and a better future for our children and grandchildren.
But to be most effective, we really need to separate our green waste from our household rubbish. Believe it or not, our garden waste is too valuable to just take to the dump. Rather than putting it in a landfill where it can potentially damage the environment, we can reuse it.
Dumping organic waste in our landfills is now becoming environmentally unacceptable - and for very good reasons. As organic waste breaks down in landfills, it produces huge amounts of methane gas, a major contributor to global warming. Now that we are learning more about the damage being done, there is a growing need to take action. We can do it voluntarily or sometime soon, legislation may be needed.
Our green waste is a valuable ingredient. It can be used to make high quality compost, which will hugely benefit agriculture in our region. However, to do this properly, green waste must be separated from the general waste stream before it is collected. Separating after the waste had reached the landfill is difficult and costly, and can often leave our compost ingredients contaminated by other waste.
Research has shown that over half of the general waste going to landfills is organic waste that, as we have mentioned, can be a valuable resource when used to make compost. “High-grade” compost plays a major part in raising the efficiency of New Zealand’s agriculture. It has been shown to reduce the need for cultivation and improve the water holding capacity of the soil. This can lead to a 20% reduction in irrigation costs - resulting in less need for fertilizers and pesticides and, most importantly, increased yields.
Did you know that every 1% improvement in horticultural yield is worth $30m to the NZ market annually! Soil scientists have measured yield increases up to 15% - 20% in recent field text, showing that the benefits to the NZ economy are enormous.
Wairarapa Environmental is a keen supporter of home composting and wormeries. Compost is produced when plant matter dies and breaks down into nutrients that feed the plants around it. This happens naturally in the forest. Find out how you can easily start composting at home!
Compost is produced when plant matter dies and breaks down into nutrients that feed the plants around it. This happens naturally in the forest. But Wairarapa Environmental makes it happen as well. We collect and compost 30,000 tonnes of green waste each year. That's about the same weight as 4285 large elephants, or 185 empty jumbo jets, or even 857,142,857 wetapunga!
Load a 3ft by 3ft heap or bin with a balanced mixture of 'brown' carbon rich material, like dried leaves, straw, and wood chips, and 'green' nitrogen materials like fresh grass clippings and kitchen scraps.