19 Oct 2010

Employment scheme for millions of worms

6:01 am on 19 October 2010

Millions of worms are set to be put to work in a new large-scale composting trial that aims to recycle organic waste from the kiwifruit and timber industries, as well as from urban sources.

The project, which has received funding from the Environment Ministry's Waste Minimisation Fund, is being carried out by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in partnership with the local kiwifruit industry, the Norske Skog Tasman Mill and other local authorities.

The regional council's pollution prevention manager, Bruce Gardner, says the project will test how successfully worm farming can turn organic waste into a good soil compost product.

He says it could significantly reduce waste going to landfills.

Mr Gardner says about 500 tonnes of the compost will be provided to kiwifruit marketer Zespri for use on local kiwifruit orchards.

He says the new worm composting farm will be located in Kawerau, in eastern Bay of Plenty.