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Council to help Aucklanders reduce their rubbish

Council to help Aucklanders reduce their rubbish

Every year, Aucklanders put out enough landfill rubbish to fill a line of rubbish trucks from the Harbour Bridge to Wellsford – yet 65 per cent of it shouldn’t be in there at all.

Most of what goes in an average household’s rubbish bin or bag could be put to better use.

Finding a better way with our waste is the reason Auckland Council adopted the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP), and why we’re introducing new services and a major community engagement programme over the next few years.

The main service changes Aucklanders will see are a new food waste collection service in urban areas, enhanced recycling, and a pay as you throw system for rubbish collection across the region. There will be a transition from bags to bins over time in most urban areas.

While the long term goal is to achieve zero waste*, the plan has a medium-term goal of cutting Auckland’s kerbside waste by 30 per cent – from 160kg per person per year to 110kg per person per year – by 2018.

Auckland Council’s Regional Strategy and Policy Committee Chairman, George Wood, says Aucklanders already do a good job of recycling but the next step is to change the way they view waste as a whole and start seeing it as a resource.

“We want to be the world’s most liveable city, and to achieve that we all need to make the most of waste,” he says. “We think this is a challenge that Aucklanders are ready to meet.”

Auckland Council research shows that reducing waste is an important issue for 74 per cent of Aucklanders.

“We know people want to recycle more and find better ways to deal with their waste, but it’s got to be easy for them. We’ll be helping with more education about how to reduce, reuse and recycle as well new services consistent across the region,” says Councillor Wood.

Auckland Council Solid Waste Manager, Ian Stupple, our aim is to find alternatives to sending waste to landfill that are better for both householders and the environment.

The Auckland Household Waste Prevention Study**, conducted by Auckland Council in 2012, showed that Aucklanders are generally willing to change their waste behaviour, and that the more waste minimisation activities people are engaged in, the more willing they are to do more.

“We are confident Aucklanders will embrace the new services with the same enthusiasm they did for recycling when that was introduced, because they know it will be better for them and for their city,” says Mr Stupple.

Quick facts:
· 183,200 tonnes of rubbish a year is picked up by Auckland Council and taken to landfill

· 65 per cent (by weight) of an average household’s rubbish bin or bag could be disposed of in a different way

· 65 per cent of what we throw away can be diverted from landfill as follows: 15 per cent is recyclable; 40 per cent is food waste and 10 per cent is green waste, which can be put to a better use, such as soil nutrient

· 74 per cent of Aucklanders say that reducing waste is an important issue for them

· For 82 per cent of Aucklanders wasting food feels wrong to them

Ends

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