Waikato District Council will help communities work towards zero waste

04 April 2016
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Every year Waikato communities send more than 35,000 tonnes of refuse to landfill. 64 percent of this (or a whopping 23,000 tonnes) doesn’t need to be there and could be put to better use.

Finding a better way to manage waste is one of the key aspects that Waikato District Council engaged with the community on through the Long Term Plan development in 2015.

As a result of the wider community’s feedback and input, Council will be introducing new refuse and recycling services on 1 July, 2016. Over the coming weeks residents will be receiving information on why it is important to reduce waste and reminding them on changes which are coming.

Council’s Less Waste Saves More Campaign is designed to raise awareness around how everyone can make a difference by reducing their waste.

Waikato District Council’s Waste Minimisation Officer Pat Cronin says a lot of people don’t realise the connections between the refuse they put out and the impact it has on the country’s environment along with climate change. 

With the upcoming changes, there will be direct savings for people who reduce the amount of waste they put in their refuse bags. “Each bag will require a pre-paid sticker and wheelie bins will be collected on a pay per lift basis. The less refuse we put out the more money saved,” Ms Cronin says.

There are also indirect savings because the less waste that is produced as a district the more natural resources saved. This means less money will be spent on conserving and cleaning up water ways, dealing with climate change impacts and replacing the valuable services the land and forests provide.

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson says as a district everyone needs to make sure they keep working to improve waste management. “We also need to manage ours and other people’s waste in a way that will reduce the total cost to our community.

“To achieve this we all need to make less waste.”

“We know people are becoming more aware of how important it is to reduce their waste, recycle more and find better ways to reuse stuff they no longer need. We’ll be providing more information over the coming weeks about the new service and how to reduce, reuse and recycle,” Ms Cronin says.

“We are confident our communities will play their part in reducing waste because they know the new services in July will be better for them and for their district,” Mayor Sanson says.

Quick facts

  • We send 509kg of waste to landfill per capita per year.
  • The changes in service will reduce this to 338kg per capita per year, a reduction of 33 percent in waste to landfill per capita by 2022.
  • 64 percent of what we throw away can be diverted from landfill as follows: 22 percent is recyclable; 37 percent is food waste and 5 percent is garden waste, which can be put to a better use, such as composting.
  • Recycling one tonne of paper saves 17 trees and 7500 litres of water
  • Each average-sized tree provides an estimated $10 savings in annual environmental benefits, including energy conservation and reduced pollution.

 

For more information go to www.lesswastesavesmore.co.nz

For more information please contact:
Sheryl Flay
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633
sheryl.flay@waidc.govt.nz