The first load of compost from Whanganui food waste business Easy Earth has gone on sale to the public.
Springvale Garden Centre general manager Gareth Carter took the centre's first delivery on March 16.
"We were getting compost from a place in Levin. I have always wanted to support Easy Earth and [its product] will be replacing that," Carter said.
The compost will sell for $29.99 per 0.25 square metre.
Easy Earth puts two tonnes of material a day through its HotRot compost machine, and amasses about six tonnes of finished product a week, its compost quality technician Joe Thompson said.
"We're not working to the scale that bigger landscape centres would be interested in."
The compost looks dark and rich and has a good texture with lots of air spaces, Carter said.
It's made of food waste from households, food businesses and school lunch programmes - including their compostable packaging. There's also some fish, poultry and dairy waste, and the carbon content is supplied by untreated sawdust and arborist mulch.
It's especially good for adding organic matter to sandy soils, Thompson said. Customers are encouraged to mix it with their topsoil.
The chemical content of the compost is tested at laboratories, and its biological content is tested by Soil Foodweb. Last year it was sold to individuals, who trialled it and gave feedback.
Last winter the Learning Environment group at Pīwakawaka Farm in Papaiti compared its quality with their own compost and with another commercial compost.
"They were really happy and started ordering in bulk. Since then it's just snowballed," Thompson said.
Easy Earth started in late 2018 and now has the equivalent of at least three fulltime staff.
Keeping the food waste out of landfill reduces greenhouse gas emissions, Thompson said. The business would like to reduce those further, by moving to an all-electric vehicle fleet.