Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most common questions we get asked. If the answer you need isn’t here, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Why does composting matter?
Compostable waste makes up around 30% of waste sent to landfill, and many people mistakenly believe that once there it will break down naturally because it is organic material. In landfill, food waste decomposes anaerobically releasing methane gas (*a greenhouse gas that warms the planet at a rate 86 times greater than carbon dioxide). In the move to a sustainable, circular economy, reusing materials wherever possible is crucial and food waste is no different. We aim to divert unnecessary waste from landfill and use it to create high quality compost to further benefit the environment. As well as being better for our environment, we believe that diverting food waste from landfill can actually work out pretty well for your wallet. If your rubbish vessel no longer contains organic matter (and you make use of available recycling facilities), you shouldn’t need to have your rubbish collected on a regular basis. You may have to put out an occasional rubbish bag for disposal, but your waste will be able to collect slowly over time without the bad odours which attract animals and vermin. *Scientific American
Who is your service aimed at?
Our service is great for those who:
- want to do their bit for the environment and will do the right thing when it’s made easy
- care about climate change, sustainability and preserving New Zealand’s natural beauty
- have a staffroom/canteen producing food waste which gets put in the rubbish, as there is no better option available
- don’t have room for a compost bin at their house or would produce more than is needed for their own garden
- don’t have time to regularly empty and clean a food bucket, turn a compost heap or dig it into the garden
- feel like they ‘should’ compost at home but don’t like the smell and mess, or attracting flies and vermin
- have moved towards using compostable packaging, coffee cups and straws when they can but can’t generate the right conditions in their home system to successfully compost them
Are food waste collections common in NZ?
Not yet. There are a few private businesses scattered through the country and also a few Councils who offer free kerbside organic collection with many councils working on trial programmes or researching options. Internationally it is common and, in some places, it is actually illegal to send food waste to landfill.
I produce a small amount of scraps. Can my bin be collected fortnightly/monthly instead of weekly?
To get your food waste to our facility in great condition, before it decays, it is best to collect even the smallest amounts weekly. Regular collection also ensures your bin won’t be as smelly when you open it to add new contents.
I already compost at home/keep chickens/have a worm farm, so will I need your service?
If you already have a sustainable solution – great! Our aim is to prevent compostable material heading to landfill via your rubbish bin. We can compost difficult items you may choose to keep out of your home compost or away from your chooks, like meat, bones and compostable coffee cups or packaging. By keeping all compostable material out of your rubbish bin, you may need to have your general rubbish collected less often. We also offer one-off collections for when you might be hosting a function and will be producing more waste than your home compost can take.
Where should I put my bucket for collection?
We like to think we are a more personalised service than a general ‘rubbish’ collection. We will collect your waste from any agreed spot on your property where you keep your bin, as long as it is somewhere we have access to even when you’re not home, and away from any guard dogs! (eg, next to the garage, on the back porch etc). That way you don’t even have to remember it’s collection day and get it to the verge.
Why do we need to line the bin with a bag?
Bags make it much easier for us to collect your waste as we can come and retrieve it from anywhere on your property and carry the bag back to our truck. They are compostable in our Hot Rot machine and we will provide you with one per week as part of your subscription to our service.
How much does it cost?
A weekly residential pickup of a compostable bag from our 10L bin is $6 per week. Our commercial pickup service is $9 (excl GST) per week, and we will take your whole bin away and swap it for a clean one, so no-one at the office needs to become the person responsible for washing it! We are happy to individualise pricing for larger commercial customers and one-off events such as festivals, 21sts or weddings. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
What day is my collection?
When you sign-up for the service we will let you know the target collection day for your neighbourhood. This may shift from time to time (eg. public holidays).
Why isn’t this free?
There are costs involved in picking up your food waste as well as in processing it at our facility. We aim to deliver value for money and any profit generated from this service will be reinvested in our community to help people and businesses be more sustainable.
What are the payment options?
Payment can be made directly into our bank account via internet banking. You can arrange an Automatic Payment and pay in regular instalments, or we offer a small discount when paying in full for 6 or 12 months in advance.
What if my bin is full and I have extra scraps?
We are unable to accept what doesn’t fit in the bin. If this happens on a regular basis and you feel that you require an additional bin, we offer a second bin for the reduced price of $4 per week for households or $5 (excl GST) for small businesses. They will both be collected on the same day but it will double your capacity. If you would prefer two collections per week instead we can accommodate that but each pickup will be charged at the full price, as making a second trip to your property incurs extra time/cost. If you are hosting a one-off event at your home or business and will be creating more food waste, please call us to discuss options.
Can I put a hold on the service while I am out of town?
If you are going to be away, or your commercial premises is going to be closed for an extended period of time (of two or more collection days), you can temporarily suspend your service by contacting us. If you have an automatic payment set up for weekly or monthly payments, simply reset the date of the next payment to coincide with your return. If you have paid in advance for 6 or 12 months, we will add the suspended weeks to the end of your current invoice before sending your next one. (ie. Paid for 52 weeks but went on a 3 week holiday within that year. New invoice will be due 55 weeks after the previous one).
What happens if my bin is stolen or damaged?
We hope that our bins will be more secure because they won’t be out on the kerb. If your Easy Earth bin is stolen or damaged, please let us know and we will provide a new one. If your bin needs replacing more than once we may ask you to pay $15 for a new one to be provided.
What happens if I move to a new house?
If you move to another property within the Whanganui city limits, advise us and we will simply start picking up at your new address but your collection day may change.
How do I cancel my subscription?
We really hope you won’t want to! However, if you do want to cancel your subscription, just give us a call. You can stop paying at any time and we will collect the last bucket. We welcome all suggestions on how to improve our service so if there is something you think we could be doing better, please let us know.
What can go in my Easy Earth bin?
- Vegetable and fruit scraps
- Meat – cooked or raw, including skin and solid fat
- Small bones – any chicken and fish bones, and other bones less than 7.5cm in all directions
- Breads, grains, pasta and rice
- Dairy products – solid only eg. cheese, butter, margarine
- Shells – eggs, nuts, seafood
- Food beyond its Use By Date
- Coffee grounds and tea bags
- Paper towels and serviettes
- Compostable coffee cups
- Compostable packaging including pizza boxes (torn to fit in the bin)
What doesn’t go in the bin?
- Stickers from produce
- Garden waste
- Lawn Clippings
- Liquids, including oils and milk
- Disposable or Biodegradable Nappies
- Rubbish and Recycling
Can I top up my bin with garden cuttings or lawn clippings?
Unfortunately, we can’t accept bins with a mixture of food scraps and garden waste because of their different processing requirements. We are planning to offer a garden waste collection service to our food waste customers in the future, requiring a second bin.
What happens to the compost made?
The compost we make will be sold in bulk quantities to the agricultural sector for the improvement of soil composition, nutrient replacement and moisture retention.
I don’t need a collection. How can I support you?
Easy Earth has big plans to offer further sustainability services and solutions and we need your support. Please talk about us with your friends and at work. Please like and share our Facebook page and posts. https://www.facebook.com/easyearthnz/ And let us know any ideas you have that could make sustainability easier for you and our community.