Better September has been an eye opener for everyone involved so far: we’ve put a well-deserved spotlight on the businesses within Britomart that have sustainability measures in place, and we’ve been able to share a wealth of information as a result.

One of the companies we’ve profiled is We Compost, who provide a collection and composting service to business tenants. Their Britomart customers are Anderson Lloyd (lawyers), Generator (co-working spaces) and The Sustainable Business Network.

We Compost was started by Steve Rickerby, who was working in insurance when he realised that the “recycling” bins from his office were all having their contents dumped in landfill. He was told it would be near impossible to compost the way he thought it should be done – so he started doing it himself. Today, We Compost collect around 30,000 kgs per week of organic waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.

For We Compost’s Britomart clients, the benefits are huge. “We were shocked at the amount of rubbish we were producing” Generator told us, when explaining their decision to work with We Compost.” Our members have embraced it and are learning each day.” Anderson Lloyd shared that “By simply separating the green compost from our other waste we have more than halved the amount of waste the office sends to landfill. Our staff now consider the amount and type of waste they produce and where it ends up. Our composting commitment has had a flow on effect encouraging other more environmentally friendly behaviours in the office. Our three South Island Anderson Lloyd offices are now looking to implement a similar composting system.”

The Sustainable Business Network switched to We Compost after operating their own worm farm for many years. They shared: “Everyone in our office composts their waste, and the advantage of We Compost is that we can compost things that you can’t compost in a worm farm, such as compostable packaging. We put a lot of focus on recycling and composting in our office. We have different bins for these different purposes and we monitor them carefully. We Compost have been great to work with and we’re delighted with the service they provide.”

“We have grown at an ever increasing rate since we started – primarily through word of mouth and social media, but driven by a growing public awareness of environmental issues and Corporates taking sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility more seriously” says Steve. “The most common reaction (from businesses) is surprise at how much organic waste they actually have. It isn’t until their waste is sorted and isolated that they can actually see just how much there is. For every 1000kgs of organic waste that breaks down in a landfill, around half a tonne of equivalent CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere. So there is a huge benefit to sorting and diverting that particular waste stream.”

To find out more about We Compost visit www.wecompost.co.nz