Politics got dirty on the campaign trail in Hawke's Bay yesterday with two Cabinet ministers and a National Party candidate getting hands-on with a load of compost.
As part of a visit to the Bay, Environment Minister Amy Adams announced a $468,000 grant to Awatoto company BioRich, which has a growing business turning construction, demolition and industrial waste into compost.
The funding comes from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund and will help the company expand its facility to accept waste streams such as bark, wool dust, paper towels, plasterboard and tannery waste.
BioRich owner Mike Glazebrook said the company was spending about $1 million on top of the grant to expand the business, with one job already created and the potential of more to come.
The company processes about 30,000 tonnes of organic waste annually and estimates the expanded facility will enable it to process an additional 6600 tonnes per year at the site.
"The composting facility offers an innovative solution to deal with wastes that are usually difficult to process," Ms Adams said.
"The material that is being composted would normally go to landfill. Instead, it is being processed into agricultural grade compost which can be used to enrich the soils of Hawke's Bay farms. This project is a win-win for the local economy and environment. It will reduce pollution and the amount of material going to landfill, while providing nutrients to make soils more productive and reduce the need for fertilisers."
Ms Adams made the funding announcement at the company's base with fellow Cabinet minister and Tukituki MP Craig Foss and National's Napier candidate Wayne Walford.
"Any initiative that reduces material going to landfill is making a difference for our environment," she said. Several Hawke's Bay companies are already supplying their waste to BioRich for composting.
The Waste Minimisation Fund provides financial support to projects which increase resource efficiency and decrease the amount of waste going to landfill. To date, the Government has awarded more than $50 million to 100 projects through the fund.
Before founding BioRich in 2004, Mr Glazebrook had been making compost for 10 years to support his large-scale organic vegetable business.