The new social enterprise on campus

Published on

All food establishments at WITT have adopted the new social enterprise helping New Plymouth hospitality businesses dispose of their food waste. Te Kauta Café and the hospitality classrooms are now using the KAItiaki Composting system, an initiative run by teenagers from the youth organisation ZEAL in conjunction with Bishop’s Action Foundation.

The initiative is an opportunity to help business owners reduce their footprint by making compositing easy and accessible. KAItiaki Composting collects businesses' compostable food waste every week and uses it to grow fruit and vegetables in the Marfell Community Garden.

Angela Ferguson, Deputy Director School of Trades, Training and Primary Industries, was approached directly by Bishop’s Action Foundation about introducing the KAItikaki Composting system at WITT. She immediately fell in love with the idea of using it in the WITT kitchens and cafes across our New Plymouth campus.

“The initiative creates both short-term and long-term benefits.”

“It’s teaching our students what they need to be doing anyway, and deals with the food waste they’re creating. Then, when they go into their workplaces, they know what they should be doing. It’s such a good option for every hospitality business, and the fact it helps grow foods that are used elsewhere is wonderful,” she said

For Angela and the hospitality team at WITT KAItiaki Composting makes composting accessible and easy.

“All the food scraps bins at WITT are collected from WITT once a week and swapped out for new ones. We have two types of bins on campus, one for coffee grinds and one for general food scraps,” she said.

WITT is among a few earlier adopters and supporters of the new scheme alongside businesses such as Sustainable Taranaki, Start-Up Taranaki and TOI Foundation.

As much as KAItiaki Composting benefits the environment, its main focus is to serve as a productive social enterprise for Zeal teens.

Nathan Woods from Zeal who works with the teens running KAItiaki Composting said the initiative is great for both the teens involved and the wider community.

Nathan met the teens when he was teaching them through an alternative education programme and is passionate about helping them find opportunities.

“I think the teens view the community the way the community views them and in my experience, they both seem to be scared of each other.”

“The KAItiaki Compositing brings the teens to the community and the community to the teens and helps to break down these barriers they have both formed of each other.

“The teens behind this initiative are good kids and KAItiaking Composting shows the community that they are trying to make a difference. They aren’t like the labels that are put on them and they want oppotunites just like the rest of us.

For Nathan, it’s important that business-like WITT are able to get behind their initiatives for the community and for the environment.   

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki is part of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology Learn more

Learn with purpose

Explore Te Pukenga

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Copyright © 2022 Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki