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Softening of Green waste bill welcome

14 July 2006

Business friendly softening of Green waste bill welcome

Business leaders today welcomed the Green Party's announcement that it will support dropping some of the costly and unworkable provisions of its Waste Minimisation Bill.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development says the country needs an economic instrument – like a national solid waste levy – to provide incentives to reduce the 3.2 million tonnes of solid waste going each year to New Zealand's 90 landfills.

Funds from a levy are also needed to develop new uses and profitable markets for waste which is now uneconomic to process and sent to landfills.

The Business Council warned on June 14, when the private members bill, introduced by MP Nandor Tanczos passed its introductory vote and was sent to a select committee, that impracticable provisions to make the country's 366,000 businesses each produce a waste plan, could drive away votes and potentially see the bill defeated.

Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says a statement by Mr Tanczos, that talks with councils, businesses and resource recovery operators over the past fortnight had convinced him that some of bill's aims "will be better achieved if parts of the bill are revised before it comes back before the House", was a heartening, commonsense development.

"It's good to see Mr Tanczos say the attempt to make every company come up with a waste plan needs to be removed or significantly amended and that he's also happy to discuss changes to some over prescriptive provisions which would make every brand owner responsible for the products they sell at the end of the products' life."

The Business Council had assembled a large project team to examine the best way forward on waste minimisation and would be making submissions on the bill.

"There's a huge opportunity to improve the way we manage waste, and reap rewards not only by reducing it but by profiting from better reuse," Mr Neilson says.

"The Green bill is the only bus passing. It's good they've been listening to both business and local government. We've got a chance now of ending up with a fine vehicle, not a lemon which won't complete its trip through the House."


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