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WasteMINZ Conference 2019

PRESS RELEASE

10 September 2019

Hamilton, NZ, 23-26 September 2019: The Waste Management Institute of New Zealand (WasteMINZ) Conference and Expo taking place at Claudelands, Hamilton, will gather stakeholders from industry, government, commercial organisations and community interest groups for open discussions on how to progress transformational changes in ‘the business of waste and contaminated land minimisation and management’.

Subject matter experts and keynote speakers are set to open significant debates in three areas critical to the country’s ability to remain sustainable and safe: waste minimisation and management, product stewardship and contaminated land. Following on from the subject overviews, WasteMINZ members and interest groups will discuss their challenges and approaches to handling key changes in policy and governance.

In waste management, the Conference will consider the upcoming review of the government’s waste disposal levy, which includes proposed changes both in costs per tonne and the scope of who must pay the levy, as well as the far-reaching impact of the China National Sword decision on New Zealand’s plastic recycling plans and establishing acceptable levels of contamination for export markets.

Discussions on regulated product stewardship, where manufacturers and businesses take responsibility for the lifecycle of their products, will centre around Government proposals to declare six priority products and whether to replace voluntary participation in stewardship schemes with a range of regulatory options.

Meanwhile and with similar rigour, the topics of environmental and people’s health and safety after land contamination through risks such as lead poisoning, asbestos use and landfill gases will be covered in the Conference’s Contaminated Land stream, with a strong presence from environmental experts and consultants. Bioavailability has a strong focus.

Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon. Eugenie Sage, who has worked for much of her adult life to better protect Aotearoa’s natural landscapes, will speak at the conference about government initiatives in this area, such as the new Onehunga Recycling Centre launched in August 2019 which highlights “the importance of central and local government, the community and mana whenua working together to achieve transformational change around waste in Aotearoa.”

WasteMINZ Chief Executive, Janine Brinsdon, believes that attending New Zealand’s leading waste, resource recovery and contaminated land industry conference is essential to finding “a balanced view on how to solve future problems by not creating them today.” She adds, ‘For example, it’s not enough to switch from plastic to compostable packaging, as in NZ we don’t currently have the infrastructure to manage it. The emphasis must be on the longer life-cycle, and how we as an industry can work towards minimising the impact of residual waste while simultaneously maximising its value.’

Dr Dan Hikuroa, the renowned world expert on weaving together indigenous knowledge and science who will open the Conference, agrees. ‘The theme for this conference ‘Toitū te whenua, Whatungarongaro he tangata’ invokes ancestral connections between people and place and provides a spring-board for considering the breadth of challenges and opportunities facing WasteMINZ and its members, and for how those ancestral connections and ways of knowing might manifest today, tomorrow and into the future.’

WasteMINZ anticipates an engaging and inspiring Conference and would like to acknowledge the active participation and support of their members, sponsors and exhibitors in co-creating this industry-leading event.

For more information please refer to our conference website page.
ends

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