Composting for schools

Benefits for Diversion

There are many benefits when schools divert food waste from the landfill, such as:

  • Environmental Impact: Schools can reduce their carbon footprint and help mitigate climate change by reducing the production of methane gas.
  • Cost Savings: Diverting food waste from landfill helps reduce overall volume of waste generated by schools. This can lead to cost savings associated with managing your waste.
  • Resource Conservation: Food scraps contain valuable nutrients that can be recycled though composting. By diverting food waste, schools can turn it into compost, which can be used to fertilize school gardens.
  • Educational Opportunities: Diverting food waste provides an excellent opportunity for schools to educate students about the importance of waste reduction and sustainable practices. Students can actively participate in composting programs.
  • Community Engagement: Sustainable initiatives, like school composting, can foster community engagement by involving students, staff, and parents. Schools can collaborate with local organisations, farms, or community gardens that accept food scraps for composting, creating partnerships that benefit the entire community.
  • Positive Public Image: Schools that actively participate in sustainable practices, such as composting, often gain a positive reputation within their communities. It demonstrates their commitment to environmental stewardship and sets and good example for students and other schools.

How to do it

Here are some helpful steps to set up composting in your school.

  1. Set up a Team: Starting a new a new initiative at school must be a team effort! Some key members of the team would be the principal or deputy principal, lead teacher, parent volunteers and students. This team will be most effective if it is staff-supported but student-run. If you need help with any step of this process, there is help available. Contact your local Waste Minimisation Officer.
  2. Audit Waste: To plan a compost program effectively it is vital to determine the sources and amounts of your organic waste. This will help you choose the right container capacity and system type. You can book a visit from a Waste Minimisation Officer for guidance
  3. Choose a Composting Method: Depending on the results of your audit, available resources, and space, you’ll need to decide on a composting method. Some options are a compost bin, worm farm, Bokashi, commercial collection, or sharing with a community garden or pig farmer.
  1. Recruit and Involve Students: Your composting team should be led by interested students and supported by staff such as teachers and the school caretaker. Assign roles and responsibilities for managing and maintaining the compost system.
  1. Implement and Maintain: Have student monitors educate classmates about what can and cannot go in the compost bins while getting started. Begin collecting food waste from designated collection points. Educate students and staff about segregating what can be composted from other waste streams. Depending on which system you choose, have students regularly check and maintain that it is functioning properly.



Zero Waste Education

Have an educator come and teach lessons on worm farms and composting. 

Find out more

Let's Compost! Workshops.

Sustainable Taranaki workshops

These workshops teach about cold and hot composting, worm farming and Bokashi bins. After attending the workshop, a $40 discount for the system of your choice is provided.

Find out more 

Garden to Table logo.

Garden to Table

Have someone help you through the whole student-led process of growing food, learning to cook the food, serve the food, and eat the food together. 

Find out more

Enviroschools Logo.


Have a goal but need some support? Enviroschools can help. They will help you with your sustainability journey.

Find out more

Case Study

Here is a great example of a school that has closed the loop on waste.

Marfell Community School leading in Closing the Loop