Open Collective
Open Collective

The Compost Solution

Part of: Happen Films
Fiscal Host: Gift Collective

Composting as a response to food waste and climate change


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Financial Contributions


Make a one-time contribution to the production costs of this film.

$13,589.73 NZD of $31,460 NZD raised (43%)

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The Compost Solution is all of us

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Thank you for supporting The Compost Solution.

Happen Funds


$10,000 NZD

Eth Fish


$1,740 NZD

Quatro Trust


$1,000 NZD



$100 NZD

Simon Webber


$100 NZD

John Sanphill...


$100 NZD

Anna L.


$100 NZD

Angela Palmer


$100 NZD

Ali Kay


$100 NZD

Lillian Johns...


$100 NZD

Noriko C


$40 NZD

Te Āpiti


$30 NZD


The Compost Solution
– A new short film by Happen Films  (title to come)

Composting food scraps seems like such a small and simple act, but it’s a crucial solution to addressing climate change, reducing waste, and creating a regenerative food system. In this film we get to know Ben – compost nerd, compost educator, instigator of his local Compost Club, and creator of bEartha, the machine that’s about to revolutionise city-scale composting.

Jordan recently did a livestream to talk about the where we're at in the production of this film and to share some of the footage we've shot so far!
Watch it on YouTube

Why this film? 

The enormous amounts of food waste being dumped in the world’s many many landfills day after day is a huge contributor to climate change – the methane generated from its anaerobic decomposition is a potent greenhouse gas.
Right now, governments are making decisions about the future of food waste. Generally the proposed solutions tend to be large-scale, centralised, and wasteful in themselves. We feel passionate about empowering communities to provide these solutions instead, in a way that values compost as a precious resource, creates and strengthens social connections, provides meaningful work, and operates within a circular economy model.

This film will explore these solutions and highlight the wide ranging benefits to communities, in order to contribute to the discussion on how we tackle food waste globally.

What's the story? 

“I don't want to see food waste go into the landfill when we can actually create soil from it.” – Ben Bushell, Community Compost

The story follows the highs and lows for Ben and his team as they develop and install bEartha, a composting machine that they hope will provide a replicable model for communities. Woven throughout this journey is the story of the Compost Club, a small-scale, volunteer-based composting initiative, and the development of a small urban farm alongside.

We'll also be exploring:
* what it's taken to set up a community composting space and a food waste collection scheme,
* the development from scratch, with lots of trial and error, of a large-scale composting machine,
* the challenges in obtaining funding,
* why community composting education and facilities are so important,
* What makes Ben tick! Why he’s so passionate about this project, what drives him, and how he’s supported by family and community (spoiler alert: he’s the sweetest guy!).

Why support this film?

This film will educate and inspire people the world over about the why and how of composting. Our aim is also to inspire regional councils to support community-empowering composting initiatives.

We want our audience to feel so inspired after watching this film that they come away eager to get started – be it by getting underway with composting in their own backyard, by joining or starting a community compost programme, or following Ben’s path to large-scale community composting.

Like most of our films, this one will immediately be available free to view on YouTube to maximise its reach.

We're also considering what kind of resource kit we could co-create with Ben to help support the emergence of similar projects across the globe – how can we contribute to making Ben’s work replicable anywhere?

What difference will your contribution make?

Your financial contribution will make it possible for Happen Films to create a high-quality, engaging, super-shareable film that can be offered free to the world.

And if we're able to source funding over and above the cost of producing the film (see budget details below), we'll use the surplus to create a resource kit that will help people take their first steps in starting a community compost initiative themselves. This could include:
* how to work with councils,
* how to write great funding applications,
* where to start with site, community, and creating intention,
* and everything else Ben and his team have to share from their experiences.
Let's make community composting a global response to climate change!

How and when will it be produced?

Production details
Pre-production and filming are now underway for a film of up to 30 minutes in length. We’ve begun before starting our funding campaign because when we met Ben he was just beginning an important part of his Community Compost journey and we knew instantly it would be a great story that we needed to start capturing straight away. A bit of a risk, but we feel there will be great enthusiasm for this film, so we decided to go for it!

Time frames
Filming began in July 2022 and we expect to wrap up in November.
Post-production (editing, sound mix, colour grade etc.) will begin in December 2022, assuming sufficient funding is secured.
Release is dependent on funding but we're aiming for March–April 2023.

Production – director, producer, writers, sound recordist: $16,300 NZD.
Post-production – transcription services, editor, colourist, royalty-free music, sound mixer, post-production management: $10,230 NZD.
Production overheads – travel, food, insurance, gear hire, contingency: $4,930 NZD.
Total: $31,460 NZD

Whakatū Nelson, Aotearoa New Zealand.

This film will be uploaded free to view on YouTube as soon as production is completed, promoted through our social media channels, and hosted on the Happen Films website.


Transparent and open finances.

Financial contribution to The Compost Solution (Donate)

Credit from Tyler D Spiegel to The Compost Solution

Contribution #609865
Financial contribution to The Compost Solution (Donate)

Credit from Eth Fish to The Compost Solution

Contribution #607604
Financial contribution to The Compost Solution (Donate)

Credit from Noriko C to The Compost Solution

Contribution #607386
Today’s balance

$2,254.93 NZD

Total raised

$13,297.97 NZD

Total disbursed

$11,043.04 NZD

Estimated annual budget

$13,589.73 NZD