Corrections 2017-05-22T13:52:49+00:00

Big Hanna composter educates prisoners

The traditional Maori worldview, tikanga Maori, holds that in order to heal and steward each other, we should also care for Papatuanuku, the Earth mother who sustains us all. We must be kaitiaki, guardians, of the earth. Kaitiakitanga or environmental guardianship is Big Hanna’s offering to us.

By educating prisoners and staff who work with her in environmental guardianship, Big Hanna helps rehabilitate and lower re-offending rates. Returning nutrients from food waste to the earth to grow new sustenance gives inmates valuable life skills and plays an important part in preparing them for eventual release. The healing connection with Papatuanuku is strengthened through the Big Hanna process.

There are security and economic benefits to Big Hanna as well, as the following UK, USA and Swedish examples show, with fewer truck movements in and out of the prison, and less waste.

The United Kingdom

There are now more than 50 Big Hannas in Her Majesty’s Prison Service and Big Hanna is now part of the standard UK corrections composting prison fit out. The compost they produce is used to grow fresh fruit and vegetables within the prisons. Big Hanna is a key part of the HM Prison Service strategy toward sustainability and lowering reoffending, and helps the Service comply with the UK’s Landfill Directive. There are also economic and security benefits. Her Majesty’s Prison Morton Hall identified £12,000 savings a year using Big Hanna.

See the HM Prison Morton Hall research study here:


See the HM Prison Service case study here:




The Noble Correctional Institution in Ohio has slashed carbon emissions by 1,014 tons a year and is avoiding US$54,535 annually in landfill costs with two Big Hanna T240 units.

This recent success has encouraged the Ohio state government to roll Big Hanna units out across more Ohio prisons. Other Ohio state agencies and institutions of higher education are also in line for Big Hanna. The initiative will provide training to staff and inmates, lower carbon and save taxpayer dollars.

See the Noble Correctional Institution case study here:


See the press release on Big Hanna’s Ohio State contract here:




In its country of origin, Big Hanna is installed in five prisons (Skogome, Rödjan, Högsbo, Skänninge and Hinseberg) and plays a key part in a system with the lowest rates of re-offending in the world.

Carbon footprint and how to reduce it – click for more.

Composting financial benefits – click for more.

Composting environmental benefits – click for more.

FAQs – click for more.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock in association with The Natural Step New Zealand.