Tomorrow promises to be a long day for Waikarere Gregory as she pedals her bike around Kaitaia, towing a trailer.
She's hoping she'll get a few waves and the odd friendly toot, but what she would really like is to have her trailer filled, again and again, with compostable stuff.
Waikarere is taking to the streets as part of the launch of a commercial composting scheme for the town. The trial involves three eateries and a lodge, which have bins that staff and customers can use for compostable materials such as coffee cups and paper napkins, which will then be picked up with the trailer and taken to the two NZ Box compost bins that have been set up across the road near CBEC. The bins have been bought via various funding streams, notably Kai Ora, AK Franks and Four Winds.
Kaitaia Cycle, Waikarere said, was an exciting collaboration between The Good Life Projects, CBEC Eco Solutions and Plastic-Free Kaitaia 2020 (a project of Te Pokapu Tiaki Taiao o Te Tai Tokerau), funded by Four Winds.
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The composting bin setup was envisaged as a working example for groups to visit and then replicate in other parts of the community, and at schools, the aim being to reduce compostable waste going to landfill.
"Compostable waste in landfill can't compost, and in fact releases methane into the environment, which is a major cause of climate change. Compost also captures carbon, reducing climate impact further from too much carbon in the atmosphere," she said.
"Kaitaia Cycle will turn compostable materials into a rich resource for gardens near the compost boxes, thanks to the Good Life Projects team and their mahi alongside adults with intellectual disabilities.
"The small number of businesses involved will allow us to iron out any problems and get fit before opening up wider. The hope is that in time the scheme will grow and become a self-sustaining social enterprise-type project, with further businesses and households coming on board."
A number of further components would be needed to make the compost as rich as possible, and she would like to hear from anyone who could contribute a regular supply of lawn clippings, crushed shell, manure or food scraps (which could be picked up for a small fee from the vicinity of CBEC/Kaitaia College).
"Look out tomorrow for the tired-looking lady eagerly pedalling her bike around Kaitaia with a trailer in tow, and hopefully a smile on her face. A wave and a toot would be great encouragement," Waikarere added."If you have any queries regarding this, or could offer some sponsorship, please don't hesitate to contact me on (021) 162-8071 or firstname.lastname@example.org."
Any offers of an electric bike would be especially welcomed.