New Zealand is currently at ORANGE on the COVID-19 Protection Framework.


Safety note: Always wear masks and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when handling commercial or home-made compost as it can contain legionella bacteria. Check out the Worksafe guidelines.

Use Council's composting subsidy voucher to help you put your food and garden scraps to work. Not only can you save money on your waste bills and create compost for your garden, but it’s also a great way to take personal action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by keeping foodwaste out of landfill. Details of the participating retailers and the type of products they sell are given on the coupon.

Composting kitchen and garden waste could halve the amount of weekly household rubbish you produce, and save money. You don’t have to pay for so many bags or bin loads, plus your garden will not need as much watering and will deliver a bumper crop of vegetables or flowers. It’s nature’s way of recycling unwanted food scraps and garden waste.

Why compost?

There are lots of reasons to start composting - here’s just a few of them!


  • Saves you money
  • Enriches your soil by increasing organic material and the amount of water it can hold, fertility, and a number of beneficial microbes and earthworms
  • Uses local resources instead of imported compost
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilisers in your garden
  • Reduces the harmful effects of organic rubbish in landfill e.g. organic waste rots down in landfill anaerobically (without oxygen) producing methane, a serious greenhouse gas
  • Extends the life of landfills by reducing the volume of rubbish

Compost Vs Landfill

Nelson City Council is keen to encourage residents to compost instead of throwing scraps and garden waste in the rubbish. A subsidy is available to help with the purchase of a compost bin, worm farm, worms or an EM Bokashi system. The subsidy is available to every household in Nelson. A handy composting guide is also available for download (2.3MB PDF).

beginners guide to composting promo

Check out our Beginner's Guide to Composting video.

Methods of Composting

Methods of Composting has more about composting, worm farming and the EM Bokashi system.

home composting small quantities

Have you got kitchen scraps but no time or space to compost them?

Sharewaste connects people who want to recycle their kitchen scraps but don’t have either the space or the time, with local people who are already composting or can use scraps for worm farming or chickens.  Sharewaste is supported by Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council.

If you are accepting other people's food scraps and would like a Sharewaste sticker for your letterbox contact

Ministry of Health Safe Gardening Guidelines

  • Minimise the amount of dust when working in the garden. Wear a dust mask so that any dust is filtered out before you can breathe it in
  • Water gardens and indoor plants using a gentle spray
  • Read the warning label on bagged composts or potting mix
  • Wear gloves
  • Dampen potting mixes before use. Open bags of soil products slowly, away from the face, in a well-ventilated area
  • Make sure the working area is well-ventilated (glasshouse, potting shed)
  • See a doctor if you develop a flu-like illness that is worsening
  • Wash hand thoroughly after gardening or handling soil products

For more information on staying safe while enjoying your garden, download a free copy of the Ministry of Health’s booklet, ‘Safer and Healthier Gardening’ (HE4605)