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No time for waste at WOMAD

Friday 14 March

No time for waste at WOMAD

A government grant for the WOMAD Festival in Taranaki will minimise its environmental impact and keep tonnes of waste out of landfills, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Environment Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

“WOMAD will take place in New Plymouth over three days from 14 to 16 March, and with an audience of 12,500 people, the amount of waste is expected to be very high,” Helen Clark said.

“This year the festival will have a comprehensive waste management system to recycle and compost as much waste as possible, as a result of the $10,000 Sustainable Management Fund grant from the Ministry for the Environment.

“The project aims to compost around 40 to 50 percent of the projected total of 16.9 tonnes of materials, including food waste. It is expected to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by around 65 per cent.

“The WOMAD NZ 2008: Towards Zero Waste project is part of the Labour-led government’s Waste Minimisation Strategy, which is a plan for the future to reduce the amount of waste generated and raise public awareness of alternatives,” Helen Clark said.

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said the Ministry for the Environment uses the Fund to support community groups, iwi, businesses and local government take practical actions to produce long-term environmental benefits.

“Taranaki Regional Council is a partner in the Zero Waste project, which helps event planners by establishing dedicated bin stations, employing on-site ‘green guys,’ and promoting recyclable, reusable or biodegradable products for food and drink during the festival,” Trevor Mallard said.

“As part of the project, bin stations will be set up throughout the site for items that can be recycled or composted. Bins for glass and cages for cardboard will be set up behind the bars and stalls.

“‘Green guys’ will be on-site to educate, inform and instruct the public on which bins to use and to supervise the waste stations. Each will be wearing a printed t-shirt identifying them as a WOMAD Green Guy.

“Stallholders at this year’s WOMAD have been given a list of products that cannot be recycled or composted and therefore should not be used to serve food, and a list of recommended substitutes and where to purchase them. They were also given ‘Stallholder Information’ which included what products/materials would be permitted on site.

“Future WOMAD festivals will build on this innovative project and its results will help other event organisers implement successful waste minimisation. Long-term results include significant reduction in waste going to landfill and greater public awareness of and support for waste disposal and recycling,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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