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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news