The Ashburton Resource Recovery Park is turning its green waste into dollars after its latest batch of compost received an A grade rating following extensive testing.
The compost, made from green waste dropped at the park, has been breaking down for about two years to make sure it meets the New Zealand compost standards, (NZS 4454), and that the consistency and nutrient levels are right.
Waste Recovery Manager Craig Goodwin says the compost is an all-purpose soil conditioner which has come from a variety of green plant materials and then batch tested in a laboratory before being available for sale.
"The great thing about the compost is that it can be sprinkled on the surface of your soil or dug through to provide a diversity of plant soluble nutrients to make your plants grow healthier and increase resistance to pests and diseases."
The compost will also help attract earthworms to your garden which will improve drainage and aeration, as well as soil structure and water holding capacity.
The compost is being sold at the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park for $3 a bag or $15 per cubic metre. Bulk loads are also available on request.
Mr Goodwin says during the two year period the compost is regularly tested to track progress and ensure there are no residual chemicals from the organic waste, and no contamination from rubbish.
Another patch is in the making and testing indicates it is likely to meet the New Zealand A grade standard as well.
"It's looking really promising that we'll have another supply of compost available in 8 months' time."
He says the public can help Council reduce costs by making sure their garden waste is free from rubbish before dumping in the green waste area.
Materials suitable for dropping at the green waste area include:
Garden Waste, hedge clippings and prunings with stem size no bigger than 100mm.
What we want to keep separate are grass clippings and materials that have been sprayed for broad leaf control. These types of herbicides kill the compost activity in the heap and can remain in the material at residual levels degrading the end product.