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Government awards over $4 million to environmental projects

Hon Amy Adams

Minister for the Environment

17 March 2013              

Media Statement

Government awards more than $4 million to environmental projects

A project that will use recycled potato starch to produce more than 17 million compostable packaging trays annually is among the successful recipients of more than $4 million in government funding.
Environment Minister Amy Adams today announced funding of more than $4 million to 11 innovative waste minimisation projects around New Zealand.
Earthpac receives $2.1 million for a project to manufacture compostable meat and vegetable trays. The trays are produced by capturing starch generated from washing potatoes.
“Currently, more than 200 million polystyrene trays are estimated to go to landfill each year in New Zealand. As a country, we need to be thinking smarter about ways to reduce our waste,” Ms Adams says.
“That is why I am pleased to be able to back a project that will make a significant difference to the amount of waste going to landfill and provide a fundamental change in the way waste is managed.
“This is a project which shows Kiwi ingenuity is able to develop world-leading, practical ideas that enhance our clean, green image.”
More than 670 tonnes of potato starch, which is normally discharged to a wastewater plant, will be used annually to make the compostable trays.
Other funding recipients include Environment Canterbury which receives $144,000 to carry out a feasibility study to minimise hazardous treated timber waste.
The project will have a particular focus on earthquake-related building and demolition waste in Canterbury.
The Project Litefoot Trust has been awarded $197,000 to establish a recycling programme for sports clubs around the country. So far the project has encouraged 60 clubs in the Wellington region to recycle paper, cardboard, plastics and food waste.
“Successful applicants that have been awarded funding have really thought outside the square and have been proactive in identifying ways to minimise waste going to landfill in New Zealand.
“Supporting these projects through the Waste Minimisation Fund is a practical way the Government can encourage New Zealanders to reuse, recycle, recover and decrease the amount of waste going to our landfills.”
For more information on the Waste Minimisation Fund go to: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/waste-minimisation-fund/index.html
Media contact: Nathan Beaumont 021 234 8412
Overview of the successful funding recipients:
Compostable packaging trays
Earthpac Ltd and Griffins
WMF contribution: $2.1 million
Project description: Earthpac will capture starch from washing potatoes and use it to manufacture compostable packaging trays.
Plasterboard recycling
CID Resource Recovery Ltd
WMF contribution: $525,000        
Project description: CID Resource Recovery Ltd will construct a waste plasterboard recycling plant at its existing resource recovery facility in Auckland.  80% of the waste plasterboard will be converted into reusable gypsum product and the remaining 20% of paper, and contaminants such as nails, will also be recycled. 
Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre
Wanganui District Council
Location: Manawatu-Wanganui  
WMF contribution $405,000
Project description: The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre project will significantly increase the range of waste minimisation services available in the Whanganui district. The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre will include a drop-off site which will collect a greater range of products for re-use, recycling or recovery, as well as an education centre.
Disposal of legacy agrichemicals
AgRecovery Foundation   
WMF contribution: $199,000
Project description: This grant provides co-funding for the collection and disposal of legacy chemicals (those chemicals not covered by the voluntary Agrecovery Foundation’s container and chemical collection programme) for 2013, while the Agrichemicals Review 2012 is underway. This Review, also co-funded by the WMF, involves key industry, local authority and user stakeholders and will make recommendations to the Minister for the Environment for improving the effectiveness of the product stewardship framework for waste agrichemicals and their containers.
Recycling programme
Project Litefoot Trust
WMF contribution: $197,000
Project description: The Project Litefoot Trust will establish a recycling and recovery programme for sports clubs and households around New Zealand. The project will encourage sports clubs to recycle paper, cardboard, plastics and food waste.
Pulp and paper solid waste initiative
WMF contribution: $150,000
Project description: The New Zealand Forest Research Institute will determine viable options for solid waste minimisation for the forestry sector. The study plans to recycle or recover 50% of the industry’s current solid waste flows.
Best and worst packaging awards
Wanaka Wastebusters       
WMF contribution: $150,000
Project description: Wanaka Wastebusters will run the Unpackit Best and Worst Packaging Awards to encourage New Zealanders to discuss packaging and waste. The project will support New Zealand householders and businesses to choose smarter packaging by raising awareness and providing them with up to date information and resources.
Treated timber waste minimisation      
Environment Canterbury
WMF contribution: $145,000
Project description: The Treated Timber Waste Minimisation project will investigate the practicality of the proposal and develop a sustainable business model for the large scale collection and reuse, recycling and/or recovery of hazardous treated timber waste. The project will have a particular focus on earthquake-related building and demolition waste.
Zero waste programme
Para Kore Marae Incorporated
Taranaki and top of South Island
WMF contribution: $140,000
Project description: Para Kore Marae Inc will implement the Para Kore- Zero waste programme on 20 marae in Taranaki and Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui (Northern South Island). Para Kore plans to encourage widespread zero waste behaviour change throughout Maori communities.
Cone stabilising strip
HotShot Productions Ltd   
WMF contribution: $60,000           
Project description: HotShot Productions will re-use waste rubber conveyor belt material from Waikato mines to produce a New Zealand Transport Agency-approved traffic cone stabilising strip.
Otago University
WMF contribution: $40,000
Description: The project will use wine industry waste as a parasite management tool; and seafood industry waste for controlling footrot.

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