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Bylaw boost for 'zero waste' goal

Bylaw boost for 'zero waste' goal

February 11, 2005

North Shore City Council has strengthened its waste bylaw and plans to license operators to help it achieve its ultimate goal of sending 'zero waste to landfill'.

The council's infrastructure and environment committee this week considered drafts of its new waste minimisation plan and waste bylaw, which provides for a future waste levy.

The updated plan renews the council's commitment to 'zero waste' -- and the revised bylaw will provide essential information and a source of funding to help make that vision a reality, says waste minimisation team leader, Danielle Kennedy.

"To meet our targets and monitor our progress we need complete information on waste generated and collected within the city," she says.

The council's 2001 waste minimisation plan set an annual target of reducing landfill waste by five per cent, a figure which is retained in the updated document.

Mrs Kennedy says the new bylaw will encourage an improved service by collectors by making them more accountable. It will also more fairly distribute costs to waste generators, creating incentives for people to further reduce waste.

The bylaw has also been broadened to encompass such things as waste management at events, unsolicited advertising, and waste management issues associated with multi-unit developments.

While additional costs to the waste operators would likely be passed on to the consumer, this would not amount to more than a few cents a bag, she says.

Any additional funds from the new system would be spent on waste minimisation initiatives and administration of the licensing system only and not to subsidise the council's other waste collection activities.

Future initiatives outlined in the draft waste minimisation plan include a kitchen waste collection, public place recycling bins, and hazardous waste reduction.

There will be a four-week period of public consultation on the two documents, starting on March 22. A summary leaflet, copies of the draft bylaw, and submission forms will be available at the council's area offices and libraries throughout North Shore City. There will also be information available on the council's website at www.northshorecity.govt.nz

Feedback will be incorporated into the final bylaw and plan, which will take effect on August 1.

Any decision on the introduction and setting of a waste levy will be made later in the year, after further consultation.

The reviewed bylaw has been developed with Waitakere City and Rodney District Councils, and it is proposed that a waste operators' licensing authority be set up by the three councils to administer and enforce the licensing system.

This is the second joint initiative this year in the area of waste minimisation. Last month North Shore City signed a shared services contract with Waitakere City, for the collection of all waste and recyclables. The new service includes the introduction of new mobile recycling bins from July 1.

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