It may not look like much – a 10L bucket recycled from our yogurt deliveries. Composting was one of the first steps that we took at Elysian on our sustainability drive. Previously all the food waste had been thrown in the general rubbish.

It was a pretty simple step to start collecting the vegetable left overs from our production – onions from the Taramasalata, cucumbers from the Tzatziki and occasionally lemons when we’re marinating the olives. Plus all the stuff that we can compost from the staff kitchen – tea bags and the like.

I’d estimate that we collect between 5 to 10kgs of compostable food waste per week (obviously this varies depending on how much we’re making in the kitchen on any given week). So that’s around 300-400kgs of waste that we’ve diverted from the general rubbish collection.

And where does it all go? To the compost bins at home. We have two of them – one is closed off and left to compost for about three months, during which time we turn it over every 3-4 weeks. The other one gets all the fresh food waste. After three months the compost is ready and we empty it into the vegetable garden to replenish the soil, ready for the summer months (thanks to Wellington’s hilly terrain, the vegetable garden doesn’t get enough sunshine during the winter months to support any winter crops).

Note the rat trap in the bottom right hand corner. If you have a compost bin in your garden, you should definitely be thinking about some sort of trapping. Compost bins are favourite places for rats in particular.