Reducing Curbside Waste Volumes by Promoting Household Composting

David A. Gillan
Louis S. Leland
Anna M. Davies
Karen Walsh

DOI: 10.2190/QG87-8318-636H-3322


Composting organic waste has the potential to reduce household curbside waste by up to 25%. Unfortunately, many recycling initiatives cannot take advantage of composting as householders live in heavily urbanized areas. In New Zealand, however, most homes have sufficient land area to make this strategy practical. Thirty-seven households (20 experimental, 17 control) took part in a composting initiative which lasted for six weeks. Following a two-week baseline period, the experimental group received the relevant composting resources and information. The results showed that the weight of curbside waste in the 20 experimental households decreased from baseline significantly (29% average decrease in the weight of curbside waste) more than that of the 17 control households (12% decrease), who approached baseline levels in the last week (4% decrease).

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