November is the next kickstart compost month – it’s an ideal time to put your food and garden scraps to work. Not only can you save money on your waste bills and create compost for your garden, but it’s also a great way to take personal action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by keeping foodwaste out of landfill.  

Composting kitchen and garden waste could halve the amount of weekly household rubbish you produce, and save money. You don’t have to pay for so many bags or bin loads, plus your garden will not need as much watering and will deliver a bumper crop of vegetables or flowers. It’s nature’s way of recycling unwanted food scraps and garden waste.

Why compost?

There are lots of reasons to start composting - here’s just a few of them!


  • Saves you money
  • Enriches your soil by increasing organic material and the amount of water it can hold, fertility, and a number of beneficial microbes and earthworms
  • Uses local resources instead of imported compost
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilisers in your garden
  • Reduces the harmful effects of organic rubbish in landfill e.g. organic waste rots down in landfill anaerobically (without oxygen) producing methane, a serious greenhouse gas
  • Extends the life of landfills by reducing the volume of rubbish

Compost Vs Landfill

Nelson City Council is keen to encourage residents to compost instead of throwing scraps and garden waste in the rubbish. A subsidy is available to help with the purchase of a compost bin, worm farm, worms or an EM Bokashi system. The subsidy is available to every household in Nelson. A handy composting guide is also available for download (5.1MB PDF).

beginners guide to composting promo

Check out our Beginner's Guide to Composting video.

Subsidy Coupon

Nelson City Council provides a subsidy of $20 (1.7MB PDF) ($17.39 excluding GST). To be eligible for a subsidy, you must be a Nelson resident. Only one coupon is available per household.

The subsidy can be used when buying a compost bin, worm farm, worms or an EM Bokashi unit from one of the participating retailers. It must be used at the point of purchase and is not available direct from Nelson City Council.

Watch out for Kickstart Compost Month for compost subsidy specials.

Participating retailers include:

Details of the participating retailers and the type of products they sell are given on the coupon.

Download the coupon (1.7MB PDF)

Methods of Composting

Methods of Composting has more about composting, worm farming and the EM Bokashi system.

home composting small quantities

Ministry of Health Safe Gardening Guidelines

  • Minimise the amount of dust when working in the garden. Wear a dust mask so that any dust is filtered out before you can breathe it in
  • Water gardens and indoor plants using a gentle spray
  • Read the warning label on bagged composts or potting mix
  • Wear gloves
  • Dampen potting mixes before use. Open bags of soil products slowly, away from the face, in a well-ventilated area
  • Make sure the working area is well-ventilated (glasshouse, potting shed)
  • See a doctor if you develop a flu-like illness that is worsening
  • Wash hand thoroughly after gardening or handling soil products

For more information on staying safe while enjoying your garden, download a free copy of the Ministry of Health’s booklet, ‘Safer and Healthier Gardening’ (HE4605)