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Rubbish & Recycling Rubbish & Recycling

Managing Garden and Food Waste

Garden and food waste are two of the worst things to send to landfill. They take up space and turn into ‘rubbish soup’ which is a major producer of methane gas and leachate. There are so many other options. Check them out!

Organic Waste

Organic waste (often referred to as green waste) includes garden waste such as lawn clippings, plant trimmings, weeds and soil, and food scraps, including peelings, left overs, cores, bones and skin. 

There are ways you can manage your organic waste in your home, to ensure it does not go to landfill.

Garden waste is not allowed to be put into the Council-supplied wheelie bins as we want to keep this waste out of landfill. Kitchen waste is allowed in your rubbish, however we encourage you to look at other disposal options as it also is no good in our landfill.

Why we don’t want it in landfill

Almost half of the waste going into the landfill is organic waste. It is a serious problem because of the way the landfill has to be managed. Mixed in with other waste and compacted underground with no oxygen means it cannot break down and rots very slowly – which creates methane gas and leachate that threaten the environment, including  contributing to climate change.

Organic waste also takes up a lot of room, so the landfill pit will need to be replaced much earlier than it should be.

Love Food Hate Waste – managing food waste

Do you know that the average New Zealand family throws away the equivalent of three full trolleys’ of food every year?

We can avoid throwing away this amount of food by not creating the waste in the first place.

Love Food Hate Waste is a useful website that gives us information on what kind of food we are wasting, why we are wasting it, and how we can avoid wasting it – it includes some awesome recipes for leftovers and parts of food that many of us would not normally eat.

The website also has a handy A-Z food storage guide that will help you make your food last as long as possible.

What types of food are we wasting?

These are the top 10 foods Kiwis throw out every year:

Top 10 avoidable food types Tonnes National cost
1. Bread 15,174 $62,589,440
2. Leftovers 12,901 $140,374,320
3, Oranges and mandarins 6,302 $20,516,361
4. Apples 5,117 $14,818,152
5. Bananas 4,844 $12,933,883
6. Potatoes 4,767 $8,323,120
7. Poultry 4,083 $50,279,800
8. Rice 4,076 $2,675,883
9. Lettuce 3,754 $13,225,023
10. Beef 3,208 $45,8256,926

 Organic waste options

Contact a privately-owned kerbside wheelie bin provider to purchase a green waste pickup service. These providers often have different bin sizes and collection frequencies that you can choose from. 

If you think you don’t produce enough garden waste to justify a bin, consider going in with your neighbours for a shared service and split the costs.

Most green bin operators will accept some food scraps in these bins, such as vegetable peelings but check with them first. To find a supplier, search ‘garden waste services Hawke’s Bay’ on the internet.

Drop off your garden waste at a Hastings Transfer Station. You need to keep it separate from your general rubbish so it stays out of landfill. That will also save you money, as it costs less to drop off than general rubbish.

Composting is good for the environment as it allows food and garden waste to break down naturally with oxygen. This means it does not release the harmful greenhouse gases that it does when buried in a landfill. Composting turns unavoidable food waste into nutrients that can feed your garden.

For information on how to compost click here

You can compost most garden waste and some household waste, such as food scraps, hair and fur, egg cartons, newspaper, tissues, and egg shells.
Things you shouldn’t put in your compost include:

  • Cooked and processed foods such as bread, pasta and meat, unless they have been treated in a bokashi system first
  • Noxious weeds – these seeds will sprout again wherever you put your compost
  • Dog and cat poo
  • Oil and other liquids.

Worm farms are ideal for people who have limited space or don’t have a garden, as they can be kept in your garage, shed or basement. While worm farming may sound daunting, it is actually less technical than composting. However, the worms do require a little care and they need time to build up their population in order to process large amounts of food scraps.

For information on how to worm farm click here.

Worm farms can take most food scraps as well as coffee grounds and tea bags, egg shells, paper and cardboard, and manure from small animals like rabbits.
Things you should not put in your worm farm include:

  • Spicy foods, chilli, onion and garlic
  • Meat and milk products
  • Bread and pasta
  • Cooked or processed food
  • Citrus or acidic foods (though small amounts are okay)
  • Oils, and liquids such as soup.


Unlike traditional composting that requires airflow, Bokashi is anaerobic composting, meaning food decomposes without oxygen in a sealed container. The food decomposes much faster this way with the assistance of the ‘zing’ that is mixed in with the food.

This style of composting can compost all your scraps from the kitchen, including leftovers, meats and cheese which you shouldn’t add to regular composting systems, and onions and citrus which you can’t put in a worm farm. The bucket can also be stored in your kitchen as the system doesn’t get smelly.

Bokashi does not require stirring or aeration like regular composting. It also does not need carbon rich materials, such as leaves or newspapers to compost successfully – it can be purely food scraps.

For information on how to manage a bokashi system go here.

201 Waitangi Road, Awatoto, Napier

Disposing of green waste directly to BioRich is a cost-effective option as, apart from the gate fee, there are no additional handling or transport costs. BioRich is an organic waste recycling company which turns organic material into compost.

Go here for more information.

Composting workshops

Want to learn more about composting?

We’ve run some beginner’s workshops before and are collecting interest in running more in the future.

The workshops are a beginner’s guide on how to use a traditional compost bin, a worm farm and the Bokashi bucket system to ferment food waste. They are designed to give you enough information to find the right system for you and your whānau and get started at home.

Register your interest here:

Follow this link if the form fails to load. online form.

Talk to Sustainable HB for more advice on composting, worm farming, and bokashi bins.


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