A truckload of Hamilton City Council’s Tronpost was delivered to the Fairfield Project last week, bringing valuable nutrients to their community garden.
Kerbside collected food scraps, along with green waste, become a high nutrient compost, which Council calls Tronpost. Hamilton residents saved more than 300,000kg of food waste from landfill in November 2022, just by people using their food scraps bin.
Using a food scraps bin contributes to both nature and the community.
Since the beginning of the new kerbside service in 2020, more than 110mᵌ of Tronpost has been donated to not-for-profit organisations for use on community gardens.
The latest Tronpost recipient, The Fairfield Project, is a community-led organisation seeking to restore urban biodiversity in Hamilton. They provide educational opportunities for all ages, with a hands-on approach to teaching native restoration, growing your own kai, and kaitiakitanga (guardianship).
Since 2016, they have planted more than 20,000 native trees in the Kukutaaruhe Gully, involving more than 2000 people, and created a community garden with more than 100 regular gardeners.
Their ongoing restoration work in the gully contributes to Council’s Nature in the City Programme, which aims to increase Hamilton’s native vegetation from 2% to 10% by 2050.
The Fairfield Project also has their own community compost facility, funded through Council’s Waste Minimisation Fund. Green waste from the community garden, as well as food scraps from local schools and a cafe are composted onsite and returned to the soil.
Tania Ashman, a member of The Fairfield Project, runs regular workshops for the community to teach people about composting and how they can do it at home.
She said using the food scraps bin to turn food waste into compost is a great way for people to lower their carbon footprint, as well as reduce waste to landfill.
“Once people are invested in growing their own food, they are so much more connected to the whole ecosystem, and they see how valuable good compost really is,” said Ashman.
Keeping food waste from landfill is a priority for Council. Food waste in landfill is a major contributor to climate change. While it’s high in value when it’s able to be composted properly, its value is lost in landfill and becomes toxic. It decomposes without oxygen and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.
“If food waste was a country, it would be third behind the United States and China in emissions,” said Tania Hermann, Hamilton City Council’s Sustainability Resource Recovery Unit Manager.
“We see lots of food waste in Hamilton’s red landfill bins – and even in our yellow recycling bins. It’s such a waste when we have the small green bins for your food waste.
“Please keep using your kerbside food scraps bin, so we can continue to make compost and give back to the community. It’s a great example of people supporting people,” said Hermann.