It started with the smell.
People started getting sick.
The smell was everywhere, and people didn’t seem to care.
But then the rains came, and the water levels started dropping, and we were getting sicker.
The producers of the popular New Zealand meatballs have been cleaning up and cleaning up since, but it seems that people still aren’t getting their share of the fun.
“The farmers are doing all this cleaning and doing all these things that they’re doing to make sure we don’t get the bacteria back, but they’re also going out to get some fresh produce,” said chef John Collins.
The fresh produce is a crucial part of the New Zealand diet, but for some farmers the cost of getting it is prohibitive.
So they’re trying to make a profit by putting it into a compost bin and giving it away.
The first New Zealand food bin, created in 2007, now holds enough food to feed an entire family for about a month.
It is set to be the biggest in the country, and is expected to be completed in 2019.
“We’ve been doing this for a number of years, and it’s not the best way to go about it.
You have to go through a lot of hoops to get your food from this bin,” Collins said.”
So we thought, let’s get a composted food bin out there that will be easy to get.
It’s a waste of a lot more money to use it.”
The food bin was originally made of plywood and is made of recyclables and food scraps, but now Collins and his team are trying to find a way to use some of the materials.
“It’s got a composting system, it’s got recycled food scraps and it has a system for getting the food out of the bin, so you can see how much food there is to put in there and how much space there is,” he said.
Collins said he started to see the potential in composting, because it is a relatively cheap way of producing food, but the cost is high.
“A lot of farmers that use a lot food waste, they put it into the compost to be used as fertiliser or they put food waste in the bin to be burned, and those are the two main reasons for why people are throwing food away,” he explained.
But now Collins is finding out there is an alternative, and that is to use the waste as fertilizer.
“What I’ve been working on, over the last couple of years is actually creating a fertilizer that is actually actually being used by people in their gardens, to make compost,” he told 7.30.
“They put it in their garden to make manure, and they put the fertilizer into the soil and then they plant a tree in their backyard, and then when the tree grows, they plant the compost, and their whole garden is producing this fertilizer.”
In a nutshell, Collins is taking what is used by a garden and turning it into fertilizer.
“The compost in our compost bin has a fertilizer, and you just throw it in the compost bin, and voila, you get a fertilizer in there, and if you do that for five years and you have enough of it, it will have a lot less nutrients than if you just dump it into your landfill.”
The cost of the composted compost was about $1,500 a year before Collins started, but with the cost now dropping, he is hoping that it will eventually be as cheap as a landfill.
The cost is also down dramatically when compared to other agricultural uses, such as composting manure.
“Our compost has the highest nitrogen content of any fertilizer we’ve ever done,” Collins told 7,30.
“[So] if you put compost in a landfill, it’ll take up a lot fewer nutrients than just dumping it in a dumpster.”
The farmers composting their own compost has also made a huge difference to the local food security, with the amount of food that goes into the bin decreasing by about 60 per cent.
“When we first started out, it was only 10,000 tonnes a year, but we now have over 200,000 tons a year of food in the bins, and all the waste goes into it, so it’s gone down in that area, and also the amount that goes in the landfill is actually getting lower,” Collins added.
“With the compost that we have now, it goes down from around 50,000 to under 30,000 a year.”
The next step in making a new composting bin is the production of a small-scale food waste incinerator, which will make the bins more energy-efficient.
The first step will be to produce the fuel to run the system.
“For us, it all comes down to a little bit of work and patience.
You can get into the business, but you’ve got to have a couple of big projects that take a long time to get to a point where it is sustainable