City Up For Excellence Award
Hamilton City Council’s new rubbish and recycling service is a finalist in the 2021 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Awards.
The project was the biggest change to the city’s rubbish and recycling service in 20 years and is a top-runner for the environmental well-being award.
At the end of August 2020, more than 60,000 Hamilton households received separate wheelie bins, a food scrap bin and a glass crate to help encourage recycling and reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.
The service will enable Hamiltonians to help reach Council’s 10-year goal to divert 150 million kilograms of waste away from landfill.
Since the new service started, the amount of waste saved from landfill has increased from 27% to 58% and more than 4.5 million kilograms of food scraps have been turned into compost. A portion of the compost can then be reused in the city’s gardens and parks.
Mayor Paula Southgate said the project had put a real focus on what people threw out and the challenge now was on reducing recycling further and being very conscious of what was consumed. She said a huge amount of work had gone into the service change and commended the staff involved across all levels of the organisation.
“It wasn’t always plain sailing and was never going to be because change is hard. But we’re starting to see some real benefits now and I’m delighted to see this project already being held up as a great example of making a massive change and doing it well.”
The other finalists in the category are Auckland Council/Waiheke Resources Trust for its Love our Wetlands Waiheke programme and Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) for its Whakaora Te Ahuriri project.
The awards are open to all of New Zealand’s 78 local authorities. Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Blenheim in July.