Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Govt seeking feedback on dealing with harmful waste

Govt seeking feedback on dealing with harmful waste


Environment Minister Amy Adams today released a discussion document on possible options to improve the way some waste products are managed in New Zealand, especially those which can cause harm to the environment.

The Government is considering whether it should intervene to improve the management of four product waste streams – electrical and electronic equipment, tyres, agrichemicals and farm plastics, and refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases.

“I am concerned about the risk of environmental harm from having tens of thousands of tonnes of waste products dumped in landfill unnecessarily,” Ms Adams says.

“For example, it is estimated that each year up to three million mobile phones become obsolete in New Zealand. Of those, only about 2 per cent are recycled.
“There are also millions of computers potentially being sent to landfill. Nearly eight million computers were in New Zealand homes and businesses in 2010. All of these computers will reach the end of their life at some stage, accelerated by rapid moves to new technology.

“Tyres also pose a significant problem for the environment. New Zealand imports more than five million vehicle tyres every year, replacing worn tyres which are then disposed of. More than 70 per cent of the disposed tyres go to some form of landfill.”

Since passing the Waste Minimisation Act (WMA) five years ago, the Government has encouraged voluntary product stewardship efforts as a first priority. Over this time, 11 voluntary product stewardship schemes have been accredited by the Government.

Product stewardship is when responsibility for the environmental effects that products can cause in their life cycle is shared among all sectors involved with the product.

Under the 11 voluntary schemes, more than 70,000 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfill for recycling or safe destruction.

“These are good results, but this only equates to 1.4 per cent of the total waste stream going to disposal facilities.

“While the focus in New Zealand has been on voluntary schemes, in my view, the time has come to seriously consider appropriate mandatory approaches for selected priority waste streams.”

The first step in the process is to consult on whether the Government has correctly identified the four waste streams outlined in the discussion document as priorities for action, or whether there are other priorities the Government should focus on.

“I want to make clear that final decisions on regulations or product stewardship scheme design will not be made solely as a result of this consultation.

“The Government wants the decision process to be deliberate, well-informed and transparent.

“The next steps will be to consider in detail a range of options, including those recommended by industry working groups.

“This process would include close analysis of short-term and long-term economic, environmental and social costs and benefits, and consultation with potentially affected parties.

“Only after that would the Government consider what interventions, if any, to propose.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial To Be Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together tomorrow to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service starts at 12 noon tomorrow, February 22, at the Memorial site on the Ōtākaro/Avon River, in the area bordered by the Montreal Street Bridge, Durham Street, and Cambridge and Oxford Terraces. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news