Plans underway to rollout food scrap processing scheme across Auckland

Big plans are underway to almost halve the amount of household rubbish many of us throw away.

Not only will it be diverted from landfills, but it'll be used to feed crops, and power homes and businesses.

Jacob Wheeler, sister Scarlet and mum Kate are keen recyclers.

"I like that we can just put out stuff that gets recycled and doesn't go into landfill and it doesn't hurt the environment," Jacob told Newshub. 

Food scraps make up almost half the weight of our household rubbish. A collection scheme in Papakura turns that waste into compost and Kate says it's made a huge difference.

"We put our general waste rubbish bin out about every four to six weeks now because it's cut down massively on the amount of waste that we generate," Kate says. 

The Auckland City Council has applauded the community's work to reduce the amount of rubbish going into landfills.

"The community has done really awesome, they have diverted a whole heap of food scraps from landfill," Parul Sood, the general manager of Auckland Council Waste Solutions told Newshub. "I think over 4000 tonnes have been diverted."

Hamilton and Tauranga have similar schemes and the goal is to roll the service out across Auckland in 2023.

Papakura families have already kept 472 rubbish trucks full of food scraps out of landfills and turned them into compost, but there are bigger plans afoot.

"Food scraps do create greenhouse gases in landfills, and that is what we are trying to put to good use by diverting it to a processing plant," Sood said. 

A processing plant is under construction in Reporoa where Ecogas and Firstgas Group will turn scraps into renewable gas.

Using a process called anaerobic digestion, the organic waste is broken down and converted into biogas, while a biofertilizer will also be created to feed crops.

The biogas will create enough energy to supply the equivalent of 9000 homes and businesses and at the same time eliminate more than 11,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Committed cooks and composters Sonu and Ravi Anand say it's really easy.

 "On the bin, there's a nice picture of what can go in it and what can't go in it so I just make sure I follow those instructions," they tell Newshub.

"You can also put in bones and meat and milk products which you don't usually put in the compost bin at home.

"We try to compost everything that we can."

Saving scraps to save the environment.

Watch the full story above.