Auckland Mayor Len Brown and 30 students from Mangere Bridge’s Mountain View Primary School planted native Mingimingi trees at the Mangere Mountain Education Centre gardens yesterday as part of a milestone celebration for organic waste company Living Earth.
The milestone – diverting a total of a million tonnes of organic waste from landfill – is a huge achievement for Living Earth in its 18-year history.
“To put it in perspective,” says Living Earth business development manager George Fietje, “that’s a compost heap the size of a rugby field and the height of the Sky Tower we have created from waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill and produced harmful methane emissions.”
“We’re proud of the contribution we’ve made to reducing New Zealand’s waste stream, and particularly the waste stream that creates environmental harm in landfills which is the intent of the National Waste Strategy.
“And we are equally proud of the value of our compost to New Zealand’s productive soils. In addition to the thousands of loyal Living Earth garden centre customers particularly in Auckland, we’ve worked very hard promoting compost to farmers and commercial growers. Our field trials with universities and crown research institutes over the past ten years have confirmed the value of compost as a fertilizer substitute and a great source of organic matter for productive soils. Our customers include Fonterra dairy farmers, vintners and orchardists,” he said.
For the celebration this week Living Earth donated compost for the centre’s gardens, which encompass a traditional food garden, medicinal garden and community gardens.
“It was great to have the Mayor and local school children there to help us celebrate this huge achievement,” says Mr Fietje. “It’s nice to think that the kids will have the satisfaction of visiting the gardens over the years and see the trees they planted grow.”
The company has organic waste processing plants in Auckland and Christchurch, and now diverts more than 100,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year.