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Waste audit eye-opener

Waste audit eye-opener for NZ’s largest Iwi-owned fisheries company

Finding out what one day’s worth of waste from one of its sites was made up of was an eye opener for Aotearoa Fisheries. This has given the company considerable information about what waste it produces and what and how to divert material from the general waste stream that’s currently going to landfill to better uses.

The waste audit, at its Lorne Street Wellington site, included the small offices at the site, as well as the processing and packing operations.

Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd Group Manager of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Allyn Glaysher, was the first person to offer to put on personal protective gear and get his hands dirty helping Global Action Plan Oceania sort the waste.

Over time all other Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd sites will also undergo waste audits, with specific waste management strategies to be developed for each of them, in line with developing an overall Waste Management and Minimisation Plan that is currently underway for the group.

“We’re a large and diverse company with a huge range of processes that do generate waste, and while we’ll also be looking at cutting that down, the priority is making sure what we do generate goes to the best possible place to have the least impact on the environment,” says Mr Glaysher.

Cardboard and clean plastic film made up the two largest categories of waste, and as a result of the Wellington site audit, in the office, under desk bins will be removed and larger, mixed recycling bins will be placed centrally to encourage recycling. Outside, recycling cages will also be introduced to reduce the material going into the general waste bin.

Clean plastic film can also be recycled, and Mr Glaysher says he is currently looking at services to cater for this waste. In addition, the waste audit identified that although single use, disposable items such as rubber gloves and paper towels do not make up a large part of the waste stream by volume, there may be alternatives.

Wellington’s Regional Manager, Richard Evans says the biggest obstacle is the limited space available on site for recycling cages.

“We are extremely excited about the possibilities to further enhance our sustainability profile and are committed to reducing waste into landfills. We realise that our Lorne Street site will provide some challenges to implement some of the changes but we’re confident we can find a way around these challenges.

One of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd’s sustainability objectives is to ‘develop metrics to manage our journey, self-assess and continuously improve’, and the starting point for achieving this is gathering baseline information.

A similar audit was done eight months ago at their Auckland processing plant. To date, recycled content has increased by almost 50% which is a credit to the staff at Aotearoa Fisheries for understanding the importance and being committed to making a difference.

“We’re committed to becoming a global leader in sustainable fisheries management and development, but that doesn’t just mean managing the resource entrusted to our care and strengthening it for future generations, it also means walking the talk in how we operate,” says Mr Glaysher.

ENDS

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