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We’re looking at how we manage waste in our District, and how we could reduce harmful effects of waste. We’d like to know your thoughts on reducing waste, and whether our waste services, such as kerbside rubbish and recycling collections, meet your needs. We’ll use this information to make a draft plan for how we manage and reduce waste in our District.
63% of what we throw to landfill could be either recycled or composted. More than half what we throw away into landfill each week is food waste.
Of the average 46 tonnes per week (that’s the weight of 46 elephants!) we throw away, 29 tonnes could have been diverted from landfill.
On top of that, a third of all recycling bin content in the district is contaminated, which means it’s either dirty or not recyclable. Common non-recyclable items recovered include nappies, dead animals and medical waste.
Products we don’t reuse, compost, repair or recycle are called waste, and end up in landfill. This includes all the rubbish you put in your yellow HDC rubbish bag. Modern landfills are developing to be more sustainable, for instance capturing methane gas to convert to electricity for the national grid, however the landfill we currently use at Tirohia has a limited lifespan due to space requirements.
Reducing waste conserves our natural resources and reduces the need for extraction of materials from Papatūānuku (land, Mother Earth). Reusing means fewer products are made, as people buy less, meaning less carbon emissions. Recycling keeps waste out of landfills and incinerators and provides manufacturers with recycled instead of raw materials to make new goods. Careful disposal of waste reduces the chance of rubbish making its way through our awa (rivers) where our wildlife and river quality can be harmed by waste.
The government has signalled a move towards a ‘low waste, low-carbon’ future, as well as a ‘circular economy’ which means thinking about the whole life of products, and what will happen to them after we’ve used them. We pay per tonne for the collected waste we take to landfill, and we know we’ll have an increase in the cost of landfill disposal over the next four years. Reducing waste as a community is one way we can cushion these cost increases.
We want to ensure everyone has access to tools to reduce, reuse and recycle waste where they live, work and play. This allows everyone to participate in protecting Papatūānuku.
We asked you to complete our survey on waste during August. We’ll pop the results back here during September, we’ll use your feedback to come up with a draft plan. Keep an eye out for the draft plan in October and tell us if we’re on the right track.
“We know there are plenty of people and organisations in our communities doing an amazing job of reducing waste and we’re keen to learn from them. We also want to make sure everyone has access to the tools and services they need to reduce, recycle and reuse waste so we can all do our bit to look after the environment.”
– Mayor Toby Adams
We’ll use your feedback to come up with a draft plan. Keep an eye out for our draft plan in October and tell us if we’re on the right track.
“We received lots of feedback about waste management during our Long Term Plan engagement and we’ve taken that on board. Now we want to dig a little deeper, learn from each other, and come up with a plan to significantly reduce the amount of rubbish we send to landfill.”
– Mayor Toby Adams