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Public education the key to successful recycling

Public education the key to successful recycling

A dedicated fund for reducing waste is needed to address the problems highlighted in a Christchurch-based recycling study, the Green Party says.

Greens' Spokesperson on Waste Issues Nandor Tanczos says the study reveals that many people who recycle still don't fully understand what they need to do to be effective and shows the need for public education.

The study, by a former Canterbury University student, showed that even those people who considered themselves to be good recyclers, were not cleaning and flattening the items they put out and included non-recyclables.

"What is needed is a national levy on landfill waste for the purpose of waste minimisation," Nandor says.

This levy could be used to fund public education campaigns as well as to investment in much-needed infrastructure to support re-use and recycling.

This move already has the support of the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

"I have a Private Member's Bill in the ballot that addresses this very issue. The Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill seeks to establish exactly the kind of levy that could be used to fund an education campaign that would see New Zealand make the most of recycling.

"The Bill also set targets and deadlines for the reduction in the amount of waste disposed of in landfills, prohibit the disposal of certain classes of material, require extended producer responsibility programmes and organisational waste minimisation plans, and require public procurement policies to spur the development of markets for products and services which result in waste reduction.

"Many New Zealanders are trying to do the right thing when it comes to re-use and recycling and they can't be blamed for getting it wrong if they don't have the right information," Mr Tanczos says.

People do want to make the right environmental choices and the Green Party believes in doing what it can to make those decisions easier.


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