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A Most Unusual Bus Tour

Media Release
1 March, 2004

A most unusual bus tour

Local body councillors in the South Island are being invited by the Zero Waste New Zealand Trust on an extraordinary bus tour of South Island recycling and waste minimisation initiatives.

The tour, funded largely by the Ministry for the Environment, and organised by Zero Waste New Zealand Trust will visit Council and Community led "waste as a resource" initiatives in the South Island.

Zero Waste spokesperson Lucy White said the idea behind the tour was to provide councillors with first-hand experience and examples of ways to tackle key waste minimisation and recycling issues to take back to their own regions.

South Island Councils share particular challenges when it comes to minimising waste and encouraging recycling. These include having only small rating bases, experiencing large tourism numbers - particularly in the summer - and being located a long distance from both recycling industries and from proposed regional landfills, Ms White said.

"During the tour, councillors will have the chance to see a three hectare worm farm, both a vertical and horizontal composting unit, a bio-digestor, and a number of ways of collecting recyclables as well as a range of community group and council led initiatives. It is our hope that they will be able to take this learning away with them and hopefully apply it to their own regions and districts," Ms White said.

Ministry for the Environment Sustainable Industry Group manager Maryanne Macleod said the tour was a unique way to deal with a long-standing problem.

"Many of these problems are difficult to comprehend when talking about them in the abstract. By taking the councillors on the road and demonstrating some of the solutions in-person our hope is that many of the waste minimisation success stories that exist can be shared and eventually duplicated."

The tour, which will run between 22-26 March, will travel through Dunedin, Central Otago, Wanaka, Lake Tekapo, Ashburton, Hurunui, Christchurch and Kaikoura. Councillors will be able to compare places of similar population levels which have responded to the waste problem in different ways.

The bus will have experts on board and will meet with local Councillors and invited guests each evening.

ENDS

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