Waste a resource, not rubbish

​​29 June 2017

A new strategy wants Waipa residents to see waste not as rubbish, but as a valuable resource to be reused.

Waipa District Council has launched a draft plan to help reduce waste in the district. The 2017-2023 Waste Management and Minimisation Plan looks at how our money and people-power are best spent. It will form the first part of the 2017-2035 Waipa Waste Strategy, a long-term view of waste management in the district. 

The draft strategy and plan will be opened for public comment on Monday 3 July with feedback open until early August.

Council’s waste minimisation officer Sally Fraser said while the draft plan focuses on the next six years, the ultimate vision was to build a “zero waste community” where the focus was on reusing resources, ideally back into the Waipa community.

“Eventually, just as they do in other communities, we’d like to see waste in Waipa viewed as a resource to be reused, not just dumped and forgotten about,” Fraser said.  

“That will mean working together to make rubbish and recycling a shared responsibility and also coming up with some innovative strategies to make that easy for people and local businesses.”

Based on national figures, Waipa households currently throw out 195kg of recycling and 468kg of rubbish each year. Nearly half the recycling is glass bottles or jars, around 37 per cent is paper and cardboard and the rest is tins and plastic.

In the 2015-16 year, Waipa residents dumped 22,000 tonnes of rubbish, processed by privately owned transfer stations in Cambridge and Te Awamutu before going to landfill at Hampton Downs.

Fraser said the strategy would mean a change in mindset for some people but was backed up by practical action. 

“We’d like to look at programmes which specifically help reduce food waste; most of which ends up in the landfill.  We’d like to see better use made of dumped materials, many of which can be reused.  And we’re also keen on finding ways to actively support business, industry and the rural community to reduce their rubbish and increase their recycling as well as considering quite simple things like reducing unnecessary packaging, ”  Fraser said.

As part of the plan, Council proposes to continue advocating for a nationwide refund on glass, plastic and aluminium bottles and cans as well as improve local options for disposing of hazardous household waste. 

“We’re realistic, and we know there will always be a level of waste.  But if the community can see waste not as a problem but as a resource, we could really make a difference to what we can achieve for Waipa.”

Copies of the draft Waipa Waste Strategy and Waste Management and Minimisation Plan can be accessed online at waipadc.govt.nz/haveyoursay​ from Monday 3 July. Hard copies can be viewed at Council offices or libraries. 

Feedback closes on 3 August and verbal submissions will be heard by Council on 5 September this year.  

For more information, contact: Simone van Asbeck, 027 564 7622

Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2017 1:13pm