Te Kauwhata Primary School students got their hands dirty recently by installing a CarbonCycle Community Composter.
Using funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE) waste levy, Waikato District Council bought the composter and supports ongoing facilitation and education from Maaori zero waste organisation Para Kore.
The composter is on school grounds and the community composting hub is managed by a specifically appointed community compost hub manager from the Te Kauwhata Community Garden.
It has the potential to process all food scraps from local schools, early childhood centres, marae and other community groups in Te Kauwhata.
The design of the composter means it can take all kinds of food waste (including meat, bread, dairy and seafood) in a specially designed pest-proof structure.
The large amounts of rich compost it produces will be used at the Te Kauwhata Community Gardens, the school gardens and other local community food-growing initiatives to grow more healthy kai.
The MFE’s waste levy provides councils funding to achieve waste minimisation in their districts.
Food waste is the largest part of our kerbside rubbish with 36% of all rubbish bags from Waikato District homes being filled with food waste.
Schools also produce food waste, and this community composting bin can take it all from Te Kauwhata Primary.
“We look forward to hearing from the students what they are learn about recycling the valuable resource of food scraps into nutrient enriched compost and how this relates to our health, and our ability to grow our own food locally,” says Waikato District Council’s Waste Minimisation Officer Ogechi Okoro.