The University of Waikato has just purchased an industrial composter, which processes organic waste into usable compost within two to three weeks – the first unit of its kind in New Zealand. The OSCA Bite Size 200 can process 200kg of mixed organic waste per day, significantly reducing the University’s waste to landfill, as well as decreasing greenhouse gases.
Environmental and Sustainability Manager Rachael Goddard is spearheading the project to raise awareness of environmental sustainability and to encourage understanding and responsibility in the use of resources. “The University of Waikato is committed to implementing sustainable practices on campus; we are the first organisation in the country to purchase this specific on-site composting apparatus, in our efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill,” she says. “Additionally, the purchase aligns with the aims of our Waste Minimisation and Management Programme and the University Strategy – to make our campuses exemplars of good environmental practice.”
The Hamilton campus produced 80-100 tonnes of organic waste last year. The OSCA Bite Size 200 composter will not only help to lower carbon emissions, but will also allow the University to conduct research and to hopefully engage with the local community and schools by gifting compost.
Rachael recently won a Green Gown Award in recognition of her environmental work for the University – the only award scheme dedicated to celebrating excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia. “As a responsible and environmentally aware organisation, the University of Waikato is committed to increasing recycling and establishing systems for reducing waste, so having an industrial composter on campus will give us the opportunity to provide valuable research and learning to other higher education institutions, and for businesses to follow suit,” Rachael says. The composter is expected to arrive on campus in March.