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Kaicycle - Wellington

28 June 2022

Words: Jennifer Jevons and Kate Walmsley

Anyone who has lived in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, has probably faced gale-force winds, heavy downpours of rain, arctic chills and a touch of sunshine.

Whereas some may find it challenging to coordinate their daily outfit with the changing weather - the rain, sunshine and wind offer a unique climate for growing vegetables at Kaicycle’s Urban Farm.

What is Kaicycle

Kaicycle is an urban farming and community-scale composting initiative based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington.

At the heart of its kaupapa, Kaicycle works to build community and environmental resilience by regenerating the earth through composting efforts, to create nutrient-dense soil and grow healthy, fresh vegetables.

We do this by keeping food waste out of landfill and turning it into high-quality living compost, driven by our composting team and its ‘Kaicyclists’.

Photo: Toroa Photography

Meet the Kaicyclists

Kaicycle Composting has a stellar team of Kaicyclists who manage its food waste collection and composting service with eBikes and trailers.

Every Wednesday and Friday, rain or shine, our friendly Kaicyclists collect food scraps from over 150 customers made up of households, offices and small cafes.

The benefits of our cycle-based collection service go on and on. Cycling is a great form of low-impact exercise, subsequently improving muscle strength, flexibility, mental well-being, and of course, community building with our neighbours across the city.

On the off-chance it’s too windy or stormy to bike, Kaicycle may switch to an enormous electric community van courtesy of Sustainability Trust. Otherwise, we find the best way to manoeuvre around the streets of Wellington is by the trusty ol’ bicycle.

Photo: Kristine Zipfel

The Gear

The Wellington weather is no match for our ‘Kaicyclists’. Our team pedals around the city in their bright orange hi-vis cycling gear, generously donated by our friends at Ground Effect.

These jackets help our crew stay and dry cycling through the unpredictable winter and spring weather – and look fabulous doing it.

We can’t brush over the fact that Wellington has plenty of challenges to cycling - including steep hills, wild weather and crazy drivers. But our bright jackets make the work easier - on two of these fronts at least!

‘You can’t beat cycling in Wellington on a good day’, but as we head deeper into winter and look ahead to a rainy spring, we’re very glad to have good-quality raingear on our side.

Photo: Kristine Zipfel

The Future

At Kaicycle, we are working to expand our composting services in several ways, including increased bike routes and local drop-off points for food scraps.

We’re also working on a Waste Reduction Campaign to support our customers reduce food waste in the first place. Moving up the waste hierarchy like this helps reduce the environmental impact of our food system while also saving money.

Finally, Kaicycle is setting up a new larger composting facility thanks to funding from Wellington City Council, which will vastly expand the scope of our work in this space. It is a huge step forward for Kaicycle as we look forward to the year ahead.

Thanks again to Ground Effect for gearing up our Kaicyclists with the right equipment for the job. The support of our community has been essential for our growing urban farm and composting team.

If you see our Kaicyclists around Wellington in their hi-vis Ground Effect raingear, be sure to say hello. We’d love to meet you. If you’d like to learn more about our team and our mahi, you can sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, or flick us an email at community@kaicycle.org.nz