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Innovative solution to waste on trial

Auckland Council supports climate mitigation farming trial

Published: 22 July 2020

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Sequestering carbon and building soil quality is good for every part of the environment.

Phil and Jenny Grainger were looking to diversify their farm, but soil quality was a barrier to expanding their growing options.

The Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste (HCZW) community trust were looking for a local solution to climate change and food waste.

Together, they have found an innovative method to keep food scraps out of landfill using the swale method of farming.

HCZW received a grant from Auckland Council to trial food scrap collections from interested cafés and businesses on the Hibiscus Coast. They have progressed from taking 100 litres a month to over a tonne of food scraps a week.

How it works

The swale method of farming captures and holds moisture, creating a drought-resistant growing environment. It is an innovation in farming and waste management that sits at the intersection of regenerative agriculture, zero waste, and climate change mitigation.

Richard Hills, chair of the Environment and Climate Change committee, recognises the role of these solutions in managing the climate emergency we are in.

“Removing food waste from landfill ranks high on the list of things individuals can do to mitigate the climate crisis. It’s exciting to see a local project that looks at the entire cycle of where food comes from, how it’s grown and how it’s disposed of. These partnerships build our resilience and provide opportunities for local communities.”

Rural solution

The project is still a trial, but there is potential to replicate this method on other local farms, build local rural economies and enable greater local food production. Project managers Betsy and David Kettle are quick to emphasise that this is not an urban solution because of the large area of land needed and the requirement for land use and resource consents.

Farmer Phil Grainger is motivated by the difference he can make. He encourages anyone who wants to be part of the solution to climate change “to get involved, we all need to do our bit and initiatives like this one are good. Sequestering carbon and building soil quality is good for every part of the environment.” 


Email Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste for more information or to get involved.

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