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Revolution Required In NZ Waste Management

Today's census of New Zealand's landfills and waste management shows the urgent need for government leadership in reducing our total waste, Green Party co-leader Rod Donald said this afternoon.

Commenting on the Landfill Census which was released by the Government this afternoon, Mr Donald said the Green Party's policy of a 'zero waste' target was now more pertinent than ever.

"This report is a disgraceful expose on New Zealand's waste management," said Mr Donald.

"The report shows that closed landfills are not being properly managed, many landfills are breaching their resource consents, there is inadequate control of the acceptance of hazardous matter, site management and recording systems are poor and many landfills are burning refuse and releasing poisonous chemicals in the process.

"New Zealand's waste production is growing at an unsustainable rate. Like Environment Minister Marian Hobbs the Greens applaud a number of regional councils who have set a target for zero waste," said Mr Donald.

"However the Green Party are disappointed the Government have not set the same targets and adopted the Green Party's policy of a zero waste nation."

Mr Donald said current practices at landfills needed to be urgently tightened as there appeared to have been little progress in waste management between the first Landfill Census in 1995 and this one.

"Some of the things that are happening at our landfills are outrageous and quite dangerous," said Mr Donald. "The Government must wade into this issue and take to waste management practices with a very big stick.

"Waste is an area of huge concern to the Greens and today's report clearly justifies our concerns. We call on the Government to take serious leadership on this issue, look to the future and adopt a target of zero waste.

"The real challenge facing us is waste reduction. The government must start supporting local waste reduction initiatives by local councils through resourcing. The Greens would also like the government consider a packaging tax," said Mr Donald.

"Opening even more landfills is exactly the opposite direction from the one we must pursue."

Ends

Rod Donald MP: 025 507 183 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133


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