Council trialing new rubbish and recycling options
The increasing focus on waste reduction as a part of responding to the effects of climate change has seen Tararua District Council commence a review of how waste is managed.
In December 2017 Council adopted a new Waste Management and Minimisation Plan with some ambitious targets to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Actions from the plan included installing glass recycling containers across the district and piloting education on composting and worm farming.
Despite these initiatives the district is not meeting its waste minimisation targets, which means we run the risk of losing the waste levy received from Central Government. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen, and to improve our waste reduction outcomes, Council is about to begin trialing two new initiatives.
A recent waste audit highlighted that only 40% of all waste received at district transfer stations is general waste that needs to go to landfill. The balance is either green waste (17%), recycling (19%) or compostable items such as food scraps (24%). The results of the audit clearly demonstrate there is considerable room to reduce our waste to landfill.
Despite having exited kerbside refuse collection in 2017, Council is now reviewing that decision as it is not only not meeting our waste minimisation targets but has potentially proved more costly to the community than thought at the time.
Before any final decisions are made about a return to kerbside rubbish collection Council will be undertaking a number of trials across our four main towns. Working with our Iwi partners and local community groups, we will continue waste education programmes as the various waste reduction trials get underway.
The largest trial involves collecting glass at kerbside in addition to the containers at Recycling Centres. Despite the new installations glass continues to make up 7% of waste to landfill. There have also been significant contamination issues with people not sorting glass correctly. The trial will see 1,000 kerbside glass bins distributed to households in Dannevirke and Woodville. The trial will commence on 1 April 2021 and run for 2 months. Council will then decide in May whether to implement kerbside glass recycling across the four main towns.
Additional trials are also planned to introduce 120 litre recycling wheelie bins, 80 litre general waste bins and food waste bins all for kerbside collection. These trials will be much smaller than the glass kerbside collection trial and will be conducted in partnership with Iwi and Tararua REAP. At this stage it is anticipated these trials will be run in 10 households in each of our four main towns on a rolling basis. Each household will have trial bins for a month, which will allow Council to collect data around waste habits. These trials are expected to be run between 1 March and 1 July and may be extended in both duration and numbers of households depending on the results achieved.
Council is looking forward to the results of these various trials and will continue to update our communities as they proceed.