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Composter in Whitianga is hungry for green waste

21 December 2016

Are you having a clean out in the garden? You can do your thing for the environment AND save money on green waste fees by delivering green waste to us at Moewai Road Whitianga.

Our Council has achieved the ultimate in recycling by reusing waste generated through our wastewater treatment plants to help make compost. But we need your help!

The biosolids composter at Moewai Road in Whitianga is hungry for green waste from home gardens and operators of commercial landscape/lawn mowing rounds. That’s weeds, lawn and hedge clippings and other approved green waste that we will take free of charge if you can deliver to us at our greenwaste drop-off site on Moewai Rd Whitianga.

The composter uses a 50-50 mix of biosolids - the 'solids' that are screened out of the wastewater treatment process and then dried – with soil-free green waste.

This green waste includes:

  • freshly dug weeds that are soil-free;
  • hedge clippings and leafy small branches (see photo below);
  • fresh lawn clippings.

Greenwaste clippings that are a good example of what we want to mulch and compost with bio-solids from the wastewater treatment plant.

These are needed to produce top quality, grade Aa compost.

“The green waste must not include flax or any hard items like lumps of concrete or large branches because the mulcher is a valuable machine and it will be damaged by these items,” explains TCDC Utilities Field Representative Dennis Finnigan.

“We’re hoping that with visitors coming down and bach owners getting ready for Christmas that people will want to have a go in the garden, and we’d love to divert as much of the clippings and weeds as possible to feed our composter.”

The biosolids composter has already proven to save ratepayers money on the cost of transporting biosolids to landfill. It also saves you money on green waste fees (which are currently $85 a tonne to dump at the Refuse Transfer Station).

“There are so many benefits to being able to reuse the highly treated solids from our wastewater plants which include producing Grade Aa compost. This is the safest and highest quality compost possible using biosolids according to the New Zealand Biosolids Guidelines,” says Mr Finnigan.

Since the grade Aa compost being produced through the composter can be used on gardens safely, it is hoped that it may be available for those seeking large amounts sometime in the new year.

Our Council has already been using compost produced by the biosolids composter on our parks and reserves.

“But without equal measures of quality green waste, the composter cannot keep up with the biosolids produced at this time of year and a valuable resource is being wasted. So what more gardening motivation do you need?”

Bring useable green waste directly to our site adjacent to the composter at 48 Moewai Rd on Wednesdays from 10am-12 noon and Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 3pm.

For more on what to bring and what we cannot accept, visit our biosolids composter news page.
Greenwaste clippings that are a good example of what we want to mulch and compost with bio-solids from the wastewater treatment plant are shown in the photo to the right.

You can save money on green waste fees by delivering your fresh lawn clippings, hedge clippings, small branches with leaves attached and fresly dug weeds with no soil attached.

What we don't want:

  • Green waste with soil in it
  • Branches that are more than 100mm in diameter
  • Branches that have no leaves attached
  • Flaxes
  • Root balls
  • Browned, old lawn clippings or green waste that has gone soft or slimy
  • Lumps of concrete, large bits of wood, and any rubbish
  • Remember - Plastic, cardboard and other household rubbish should go into your recycling bin or our official blue rubbish bags.

The good stuff:

Compost

An example of mulch from our composter during a trial phase. Since the grade Aa compost being produced through the composter can be used on gardens safely, it is hoped that it may be available for those seeking large amounts sometime in the new year.