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Waste MinimisationWhakahekenga para

NCC and HDC councils have joined forces with the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP). It aims to reduce the amount of landfill waste and to get people thinking about waste minimisation. See below for a comprehensive rundown about this exciting project.

Our Waste Management and Minimisation Plan

The new joint Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP) for 2018 – 2024 was adopted by the Napier City Council on 18 September, following on from Hastings District Council’s adoption on 30 August. Councils are required to review their plans every six years by the Waste Minimisation Act (WMA) 2008.

Our latest WMMP aims to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and get people thinking about waste minimisation. We hope it'll lead to increased household recycling, as well significantly reduce the amount of waste going into the Omarunui landfill. This would not only increase its lifespan, but improve our environmental footprint.

Among the initiatives, plastic rubbish bags will be replaced by small 80-litre general rubbish wheelie bins provided to every home in our collection areas.

Initially, rubbish will continue to be collected weekly, though as people become more skilled at waste minimisation, it's possible we might move to fortnightly collections. To promote increased recycling, the plan includes providing recycling containers to ensure plastics, paper and glass were kept as clean as possible to enable them to be recycled.

The overall vision of the joint WMMP is to work towards zero waste. This includes increasing the amount of recyclables diverted from landfill by 20 per cent and decreasing the amount of organic matter going to landfill by 30 per cent.

The Problem

In 2016/17 the Omarunui Landfill, jointly owned by Hastings District and Napier City Councils, received 84,000 tonnes of waste, 49.1 per cent of which was commonly recyclable and/or compostable material. Of the rest, a significant amount was potentially divertable, such as electronic waste, wood waste, plaster board and scrap metal.

Napier divertabilityWe did a waste audit on a sample of our household rubbish in 2016. Sixty per cent of the rubbish inside Napier rubbish bags currently going to landfill doesn't have to.

Why waste matters

New Zealand's waste problem is an issue that isn't going to go away. Every year almost one tonne of solid waste for every New Zealander ends up being buried at our landfills. Below is a list showing how long it takes for the following common items to break down.

Item Breakdown Time
Cigarette butts 1 - 5 years
Aluminium cans and caps 500 years
Glass bottles 1000 years
Plastic Bags 10 - 20 years
Plastic coated paper 5 years
Plastic film containers 20 - 30 years
Nylon fabric 30 - 40 years
Leather up to 50 years
Wool socks 1 - 5 years
Orange and banana peels up to 2 years
Tin cans 50 years

As you can see from this table it takes a very long time for many of our everyday resources to break down in the landfill. After the waste is buried some of it will start to break down causing potential pollution problems such as leachate and methane gas. Leachate is a liquid made up of rainwater and rotting material, which is harmful to the environment if not properly contained and treated.

Methane gas is harmful to the Ozone layer and comes from the breakdown of organic materials. About 6% of New Zealand's Methane emissions come from landfills.

5R's Waste Management Hierarchy

In order to prevent valuable materials being buried in Omarunui Landfill it is important that we implement the 5R's waste management hierarchy to ensure that we take the smallest amount possible to the landfill. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to lessen the quantity of waste you throw away.

Reduce

Napier Waste Minimisation Officer's activities are to promote cleaner production, waste reduction in the community. Take your own bags to the supermarket, this saves collecting bags that you don't really want, buy products with less packaging or recyclable packaging.

Reuse

Reusable shopping bags are readily available and proven to be cost effective while also protecting the environment, second-hand dealers and charity groups will often take useful items.

Recycling

The kerbside recycling is collected fortnightly in Napier and weekly in Hastings. There are various private recycling operators in Napier/Hastings cities who are able to offer services for various materials. A recycling depot is operated by the Hastings District Council at the Henderson Road Recycling Depot, and there is a free drop-off zone at the All Brite facility, Austin Street, Napier.

Recovery

Commercial scale composting by Napier City Council, or use of a building recycler who may recover materials from buildings.

Residual Management

The final, environmentally acceptable disposal of wastes occurs at Omarunui Landfill, which is a sanitary landfill designed to the highest engineering specifications.

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