This page provides a profile of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's vermicomposting trial.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council in partnership with ZESPRI kiwifruit growers, Norske Skog Tasman Mill operators and Whakatane District Council was awarded $100,000 from the Waste Minimisation Fund in 2010 for a large vermicomposting trial in the eastern Bay of Plenty. Vermicomposting uses worms to turn organic waste into high nutrient compost.
The purpose of the trial was to assess the viability of using vermicomposting to process municipal, commercial and industrial organic wastes into a final product that could be marketed successfully. The trial included organic waste streams from across the region including biosolids, pulp waste from the paper mills and kiwifruit waste. The final product was quality assessed in the laboratory.
During the trial, over 10,000 tonnes of organic waste was diverted from landfill. The project successfully demonstrated that vermicomposting can process large quantities of mixed organic wastes streams.
The trial site, located in Kawarau, has since been scaled-up to a privately-run commercial operation. The facility is now one of the biggest worm farms in New Zealand diverting significant quantities of organic material from landfill each year.