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Plenty of potential to recycle kitchen scraps

15 July 2005 Media Release

Plenty of potential to recycle kitchen scraps

How to get orange peel and garden clippings out of the trash and into the recycling bin is the focus of a new report by the Ministry for the Environment.

Options for Kerbside Collection of Household Organic Wastes is a resource to help councils set up their own organic waste collections, says Bill Bayfield General Manager Sustainable Industry, Ministry for the Environment. The report compares the practicalities of different collection types in New Zealand and overseas.

Organic (biodegradable) material makes up nearly 50 per cent of all household waste in New Zealand. Benefits from separating and recycling organic waste in households are numerous, Bill Bayfield says. The amount of waste going to landfill or into wastewater systems is reduced, as are greenhouse gas emissions and leachate from landfills. Organic waste can also be turned into compost, which is good for soil health.

“The report outlines the many things councils need to think about before designing household kitchen and garden waste collections. The kind of collection will depend on a number of factors, including the type of organic material collected, the way it will be composted, local weather conditions, and the markets for the compost produced,” Bill Bayfield says.

The report includes case studies of organic kerbside waste collections from Christchurch, Mackenzie district, Auckland’s North Shore, Australia and Canada. The case studies show that carefully thought-out organic waste collections can be successful and have good community participation rates.

“It’s great that more and more people are viewing waste as a potential resource. New Zealanders have really taken to recycling and we are keen to further explore how to tackle organic waste. It’s not something that can be solved overnight, however, and the report recognises that one size doesn’t fit all,” Bill Bayfield says.

The Ministry produced the report as part of a programme of work towards achieving targets in the New Zealand Waste Strategy, designed by central and local government.

Options for Kerbside Collection of Household Organic Wastes is available online at:
http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/waste/kerbside-collection-may05/

ENDS

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