Berrysmith Foundation

Auckland Council Curbside Composting

Summary of Submission

The Berrysmith Foundation strongly supports the adoption of a food waste collection system but considers that the proposed weekly collection has an unnecessarily high environmental footprint.

Therefore, the Foundation is seeking that the Council adopt policies and approaches that maximise the diversion of food waste but that close consideration is given to the use of a pre-composting system, which comprises:

  • An aerobic composing wheeled bin for onsite food waste collection and management
  • Supply of kitchen collection bins and liners
  • Supply of high carbon material
  • Pick up regime extended to around 12 weeks

 

The benefits of this approach include:

  • Reduced bin capacity over the collection period, reducing likelihood of green waste capture
  • Significant reduction in transportation requirements and associated environmental impacts
  • Management of potential nuisance from aerobic bin conditions
  • Similarity to home composting, and provision of infrastructure for such practices

To further quantify the positive impacts of the pre-composting system, when compared with the weekly collection, a detailed comparison of the environmental and financial aspects of both systems is required.  The Foundation is happy to assist the development of Business Case for the pre-composting system, but would like access to Council's models for the proposed collection and transportation scenarios so that accurate comparisons can be made.  Further, the Foundation recommends that this comparison includes the carbon footprint of both scenarios, given Council's commitment to a reduction of GHG emissions.

Further, as the barriers to resident participation to food waste collection systems need to be understood in the local context, research and trials will be required to ensure maximum diversion of food waste.  Research and trails should include the pre-composting option, This will ensure that system design, communication, education and enforcement are tailored to address barriers.

The Foundation is undertaking a small scale trial of use of a pre-composting system in local conditions, and will make available information to Council as it comes to hand.  The Foundation would then like to partner with Council to undertake a wider trial, to ensure that the consideration is given to a pre-composting system for food waste collection in the Auckland Region.

The Foundation looks forward to ongoing discussions with Auckland Council on recycling food waste in the region.

Compost Bin Cross-section

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