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Council and Xtreme Zero Waste sign food waste funding agreement

Kerbside food waste collection will continue in Raglan for this financial year following the signing of a funding agreement by Waikato District Council and Xtreme Zero Waste.

Council has agreed to fund the service from its Waste Minimisation Fund to the tune of $120,000 plus GST up until 30 June 2022.

Following extensive research and trials run by Xtreme Zero Waste, the food waste collection started in Raglan in August 2017, thanks in part to MFE and WDC funding.

“In four years of operation we have diverted 614 Tonnes of food waste. After composting with Raglan’s garden waste we have produced 730 cubic metres of compost which has all been sold locally to Raglan gardeners.

"We are grateful for the support we’ve received to continue this service within our community," says Xtreme Zero Waste's Organics Yard Manager Liz Stanway.

Since June 2019 this service has been able to continue thanks to Xtreme Zero Waste, Trust Waikato, Raglan Community Board, a crowdfund campaign and anonymous high net worth donors from the Raglan community.

“Xtreme Zero Waste were one of the first cabs off the rank when it comes to food waste collection in this country and we do appreciate their efforts in the past couple of years in keeping this collection going in Raglan,” says Council’s Solid Waste Manager Phil Ellis.

Generally, food waste makes up 35% or more of landfill bags. Removing this waste from the waste stream offers an opportunity of significantly reducing waste to landfill. 

Diverting food waste from landfill has become a priority for councils and communities around the country, both for extending the life of our landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Raglan Community Board had requested that WDC reconsider the continuation of the kerbside food waste collection through this year’s Long Term Plan process.

In light of the community consultation already undertaken in 2019, WDC made the decision to not consult this year through the LTP process.

But Council is required to speak to the community again early next year about the future funding of the food waste collection service beyond 2022.

 “Food waste collection is being rolled out in various parts of the country and the way things are going with things like landfill charges increasing through Central Government Legislation and climate change initiatives it may soon become part of everyone’s waste collection services,” says Mr Ellis.