Composting for your business

Businesses in the New Plymouth District can compost food waste through:

The benefits of diverting food waste from landfill at your workplace

Tackling food waste will lead to triple wins: environmentally, economically, and socially.


Save money

Businesses can save money, through better food efficiency and planning. For every $1 a business invests in reducing food waste they can save $14. As landfill costs rise, diverting compostable and recyclable items is not only better for the environment but it is better for your wallet. And if you are in the habit of buying compost for your garden, creating your own is great for the environment and your wallet.

Healthy land

By creating a compost, Bokashi or worm farm or by sending your food scraps to an organic facility you can help create nutrient dense soil to help grow more food. By reducing the need for landfills we reduce land contamination. A healthy whenua (land) is fundamental to our Hauora; our physical, mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing.

Climate Action

When food is wasted it goes to landfill and emits methane which contributes to climate change and is at least 20 times the potency of carbon dioxide. Reducing food waste helps lowers greenhouse gas emissions in the food production process, and emissions from the decomposition of food waste in landfill. This is why reducing food waste is ranked as the third best global solution in addressing climate change.

Feeding people

A lot of the food we throw away is avoidable food waste – meaning it is food that could be eaten. Redistributing good quality, surplus food to those who need it can have a positive impact by reducing food poverty and increasing food security and community resilience. Check out the work of On The House, working with businesses including supermarkets, cafes, restaurants to recover food and serve it for free to people who need it.

Meeting regulations

The Government announced (2023) plans to get businesses ready to separate food scraps from general waste by 2030. This new legislation is being progressed alongside proposed new waste legislation that will affect most businesses and organisations that produce waste.

The Hospitality food waste issue

The average NZ café or restaurant generate approximately 2.8 tonnes (that is about 26 baby elephants) of food waste per year! Hospitality businesses have an important role to play in reducing food waste going to landfill. 

Cafés and restaurants can reduce food waste by using seasonal produce, planning menus with reduced ingredient’s lists, rotating stock, using vegetable and fruit scraps in recipes, considering portion size, and offering doggy bags or allowing customers to BYO a takeaway container.

Where does food waste come from?

The University of Otago and WasteMINZ undertook research looking into the food waste generated by 20 restaurant and cafes, from six locations across Aotearoa. They did this through bin audits and an online survey. The following results provide an estimate of food waste in the New Zealand café and restaurant sector which include: 

Pie graph.

Food waste in restaurants, WRAP, UK

Here are some ways that hospitality businesses can reduce food waste

How we can help

We know that hospitality businesses are busy environments, often with small spaces to manage waste and staff doing multiple roles so we are keen to help you;

  • We are trialling a ‘Let’s Compost’ food diversion programme with businesses, if you are interested in participating, please contact us
  • The current Let’s Compost workshops may be helpful to work out which system works for you and get a discount on your own bin to suit your workplace
  • See our We Compost page that details setting up a worm farmBokashi or compost system and alternative processing systems.
  • A commercial waste minimisation officer can give you information on diverting organic materials as well as improving recycling. We provide free support to help businesses reduce waste tailored to your business, your space and your schedule.
  • Download our free posters that help support food diversion (more coming soon).
  • Did you know that organisations help ‘rescue’ edible food such as On the House , a local New Plymouth community group that collects and distributes food that would otherwise go to waste. Food banks are also a great way to get food to people who need it.
  • New Plymouth District Council, Stratford District Council and South Taranaki Council are scoping a regional organics facility.