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Aucklanders dig council’s compost courses


19 February 2004

Aucklanders dig council’s compost courses

Market research* conducted in the wake of last year’s “Create your own Eden” campaign shows Aucklanders got the message, with some 43 per cent of respondents living in Auckland City saying they have changed their behaviour when it comes to disposing of kitchen and garden waste.

The behavioural changes most commonly mentioned were composting, grass cycling (leaving clippings on the lawns) and using low-waste/smart gardening techniques.

As part of Create your own Eden, Auckland City held 18 free composting courses to encourage residents to reduce the amount of food and garden waste (organic waste) going to landfill. Over 200 people attended the courses and their response was very enthusiastic.

The campaign saw Auckland, Manukau and North Shore city councils join forces to promote a consistent message across the region. The campaign comprised extensive bus and radio advertising, free composting courses and the smart gardening awards. A brochure was also made available, giving alternatives to merely putting organic material into bins for ordinary rubbish. Some 1600 have already been distributed.

The success of the campaign has meant that further composting courses are being run this year, at the Auckland Community Learning Centre in Mt Eden.

“The fact that the council-sponsored composting courses attracted people who had not previously done any composting, showed this was a great mechanism for getting the rubbish reduction messages to people in a practical way,” says Councillor Bill Christian, Works Committee chairperson.


*Editors note:

Results of the market research

The market research was conducted by Gravitas among 200 Auckland City residents.
Gravitas reported the following:

- 11 per cent of respondents said they had been aware of the campaign by name and 40 per cent recalled having heard something about reducing kitchen or garden waste

- 43 per cent of respondents said they had changed their behaviour about kitchen and garden waste disposal

- about a third of households said they already used environmentally friendly means of disposing of their kitchen waste and about four out of five said the same about garden waste

- behavioural changes most commonly mentioned were “grass cycling”, composting and using low waste/smart gardening techniques

- 2 per cent of respondents said they had started composting in the last 12 months

- City Scene was the most frequently cited source of information about the campaign.

The most commonly cited barriers to composting were having little or no garden waste, a lack of room for a bin and the hassle or effort involved. In the case of using a commercial garden waste collection service, the most commonly cited barriers were having little or no garden waste and the cost of the service.

With regard to other methods of reducing waste at home, 95 per cent said they used the kerbside recycling service and 19 per cent said they had visited the HazMobile (for household hazardous waste).

The results suggest that the campaign may have had the effect of encouraging those already doing something to do more, rather than motivating those who were doing less, to do more.

Ref: BS

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