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Aucklanders urged to “Reduce Your Rubbish!”

Aucklanders urged to “Reduce Your Rubbish!”

A nationwide, 3-month-long focus on getting householders to "Reduce Your Rubbish" begins this Friday 11 April, with TV ads starting on 13 April.

The "Reduce Your Rubbish" campaign is co-ordinated by the Ministry for the Environment with the participation of most regional councils and local councils. In the Auckland region the ARC is leading the charge through The Big Clean Up with all local councils also participating with composting advice and with locally based initiatives like the Create Your Own Eden programme.

“All the councils are pulling together to give a united message to the 450,000 households in Auckland – reduce your rubbish!” said ARC chairwoman Gwen Bull.

“Rubbish doesn’t go away. People put their rubbish out for collection each week and think that’s the end of the problem, but it’s not,” said Cr Bull.

The nationwide TV ads show that when people send rubbish to landfills through our household collections, it is compacted tightly and just sits there for decades taking up space.

“It’s a crying shame that we’re not being smarter with the resources we already have. When we throw them away, those resources that could be recycled or composted are lost to us. This is a huge waste to the economy,” says Cr Bull.

On average, 45% of householders' rubbish can be composted, and a further 20% can be recycled, which means household rubbish sent to landfill could be reduced by 65%. It could be reduced even more if people think about what they buy, and buy recyclable packaging, buy in bulk and don’t accept unnecessary packaging.

Recycling businesses also create jobs to process those resources into healthy compost or new products.

“We want people to take the ‘reduce your rubbish’ message into their workplaces too,” said Cr Bull.

The campaign's website has a lot of helpful information and advice – people can go to http:// http://www.reducerubbish.govt.nz, or phone 0800 REDUCE (0800 733 823) for practical advice from their local council.

Some interesting rubbish facts:

New Zealanders produce more than three times as much waste as we did 20 years ago. We now dispose of 3,400,000 tonnes of waste – more than twice what we disposed of 10 years ago.

About 60% of New Zealand’s total waste pile is from industry, and 40% is from households. If households reduce their rubbish going to landfill by half, it will save 20% of space in landfills.

Every week each Aucklander on average throws out 5 kg through their household rubbish. If we include industrial waste, 2 kg of waste is thrown out every day per person in Auckland.

Every month the people of New Zealand dispose of enough rubbish to fill a rugby football field to more than 30 storeys high. Aucklanders produce enough rubbish to fill a rugby field 10 storeys high every month.

In the last 20 years the amount of solid waste in Auckland has increased by 130 per cent.

By recycling 1 tonne of paper we save: 17 trees, 26,421 litres of water, 1,759 litres of oil, 266 kilograms of air pollution, 1.25 cubic metres of landfill space and 4077 Kilowatt hours of energy.

Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to generate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. Recycling one aluminium can saves enough electricity to run a computer or a television for three hours.

Paper is collected weekly in all urban areas in the Auckland region. Manukau, Papakura, Auckland, North Shore, Waitakere councils have kerbside recycling for plastics 1 & 2, glass and steel and aluminium cans. Franklin and Rodney district councils do not currently have kerbside recycling schemes but have drop-off facilities.

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