Christchurch City Council is one of only a small number of councils around New Zealand that have a kerbside organics (food and green waste) wheelie bin collection for its customers, with the contents being recycled into compost.
Biodegradable vs compostable
Compostable items are not the same as biodegradable items.
If a product is proven to be compostable in a commercial facility it will break down and decay, providing nutrient rich material that can return to land as a compost/fertiliser.
If a product is biodegradable it can degrade over time in certain conditions but won't provide any benefit to land. A plastic cup may be biodegradable, it may just take hundreds or thousands of years.
Why it matters
The Council aims to reduce contamination of organics (food and green waste) wheelie bins to preserve the integrity of the compost, and to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Currently recorded as 50,000 to 60,000 tons diverted per year.
The contents of the green organics wheelie bin goes to the Council’s organics processing plant in Bromley, where it is turned into compost. If a truckload is considered too contaminated by non-compostable items such as cups, then the whole load may have to go to landfill, which means it can’t be recycled into compost.
For any further queries about your organics kerbside collection service, please contact our Customer Service Centre on (03) 941 8999.