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Bylaw Heralds New Era For Managing Wellington’s Waste

Important changes are being made to kerbside waste collections and the way domestic waste is processed at the Southern Landfill, following the introduction of the Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2020.

The bylaw came into effect on 25 January this year and includes rules and controls for waste minimisation. This is a significant change from the previous bylaw, which focused solely on waste management.

Wellington City Council’s Mayor Andy Foster says the new bylaw is an important step towards Wellington’s goal of becoming a Zero Carbon Capital.

“Reducing the amount of waste which we create is essential to reducing our carbon footprint.

“It is well known that the population of Wellington City is expected to grow by 50,000 to 80,000 over the next 30 years, so we need to act now to accommodate this future growth.”

Councillor Laurie Foon, Council’s Waste Free Wellington Portfolio Lead and Chair of the Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan Joint Committee, says the bylaw will transform our approach to waste in Wellington City.

“It means some changes in the way we do things but ultimately it will benefit us all by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and lowering our carbon footprint.

“This will help us reach our goal of becoming a Zero Carbon Capital by 2050 – a goal 92 percent of Wellingtonians would like Council to prioritise.

“Currently, waste is 6% of Wellington city's emissions and if we all make small changes we can all help to reduce this even further.”

The bylaw also changes how commercial collectors operate in the city, planning requirements for waste management for events, construction and demolition activities and multi-unit dwellings.

Waste Operations Manager Emily Taylor-Hall says that her team will be working closely with affected residents and key stakeholder groups to support them through the changes.

“The initial changes may affect some residents and commercial operators, but the long-term goals will be worth some of the inconvenience and additional costs.

“There will be a short period of grace while everyone adjusts to many of these changes, in which time we’ll use all our communications tools to educate and inform Wellingtonians about the updated bylaw controls.”

About the new bylaw:

  • The bylaw introduces new limits around the amount of green waste in kerbside rubbish.
  • Yellow bag users, no more than 10% of green waste is permitted.
  • Larger quantities can be disposed of for a discounted fee of $5 per 60kg at the Southern Landfill’s Capital Compost.
  • The new bylaw prohibits the disposal of all kinds of batteries, including household batteries, in kerbside waste. The ban will come into effect later this year once alternative disposal options have been put in place. In the meantime, people are encouraged to drop-off domestic quantities (of up to 20kg) to the Hazardous Waste Storage Facility located at the Southern Landfill or to Sustainability Trust at a cost of $5 per kilo.
  • For domestic users dropping off larger quantities of waste at the Southern Landfill, items like green waste, electronic waste, recyclable paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminium cans, and tyres will no longer be accepted for disposal.
  • Customers are now required to separate these items and divert them to alternative waste, recycling and composting services available on site. The majority of items can be diverted free of charge, with the exception of televisions and monitors, fridges and freezers, and tyres, which will incur a small charge.

Details on all changes can be found at: wellington.govt.nz/waste-bylaw

More information:

Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2020:
www.wellington.govt.nz/your-council/plans-policies-and-bylaws/bylaws/other-bylaws/solid-waste-bylaw-2020

Controls for the Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2020:
www.wellington.govt.nz/your-council/plans-policies-and-bylaws/bylaws/other-bylaws/controls-for-the-solid-waste-management-and-minimisation-bylaw-2020

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