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Cutting back the region’s waste

MEDIA RELEASE

Cutting back the region’s waste

For immediate release: Thursday 4 March 2004

An average Bay of Plenty resident produces a tonne of waste every year.

That’s why reducing the region’s waste is a key part of a new Draft Bay of Plenty Waste Strategy put together by Environment Bay of Plenty with the help of local district councils.

Now out for public comment, the strategy challenges the community to adopt a “Zero Waste” stance, says Environment Bay of Plenty’s strategic policy chairperson Lorraine Brill. Its targets include:

- That nearly all (95%) of Bay of Plenty residents will have access to community recycling facilities by December 2005.
- That 60% of garden wastes to be “beneficially used” rather than sent to landfills by the end of next year.
- That the amount of construction and demolition waste sent to landfills will be halved within five years.

“We must learn to view waste as a resource and not as an inevitable by-product of modern life – or someone else’s problem,” Mrs Brill says. “While benefiting from the use of goods and materials, we need to ensure our environment and health are not harmed by them.”

Mrs Brill says the council wants feedback on the draft strategy by the time comments close on Thursday 8 April. “We need to know if we’re on the right track. We need people to tell us what they think of our ideas and to make suggestions of their own.”

She points out that the strategy is not a legal document so its success relies on the commitment of Environment Bay of Plenty, district councils and the community.

Modelled on the New Zealand Waste Strategy, the strategy promotes the sustainable, integrated management of waste, hazardous substances, hazardous waste and contaminated sites in the Bay of Plenty.

It covers waste in all its forms, solid, liquid and gas. It includes targets for different aspects of waste management by the regional and district councils. While many have been taken from the national strategy, some are specifically developed for the region.

For a copy of the Draft Bay of Plenty Waste Strategy call Environment Bay of Plenty on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267). It is also on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website on www.envbop.govt.nz .

ENDS

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