Compost from wastewater given green light in Whitianga 02 May 2012 Re-using what cannot be reduced Pictured: TCDC staff Francois Pienaar (L) and Rob Paterson (foreground) with composting facility contractor Cameron Smythe at the successful trial in Tairua. Some things you just cannot reduce – so we’re about to re-use it. Making Grade Aa compost from the biosolids we produce (the matter left behind after treatment of our district's wastewater) is getting closer to becoming a reality on the Coromandel and we think that’s something to celebrate. A compact, purpose-built biosolid composting facility can be built ready for operation adjacent to the Whitianga wastewater treatment plant after resource consent was received this week from the Waikato Regional Council. Our district will be among the few in the country able to achieve the innovative and sustainable outcome of creating a beneficial product from human waste. This waste would otherwise be disposed of in landfill at an on-going cost to the ratepayer and the environment. Thames-Coromandel residents produce around 1,673 tonnes a year of biosolids and wastewater treatment plant screenings which are sent to landfill at Tirohia, contributing to the 18,029 tonnes per year of total waste to landfill. It’s expected that the retail grade compost will be used on our parks and reserves but the council will also investigate the possibility of offering some of this good stuff for sale. The composting facility opens up even more opportunities to reuse some of the waste we generate on the Peninsula and reduce the amount disposed of in landfill. The council is also planning to trial a collection of food waste to see how many people might make use of a food scraps collection and how well the composting facility can process this type of waste.